20 July 2013, 9:48 p.m.  FACULTY union officials of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Metro Manila signed a resolution in UST this afternoon asking President Benigno Aquino III to allow faculty representation in the drafting of the implementing rules of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K to 12 program.

In a forum at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, UST Faculty Union (USTFU) Internal Vice President Rene Tadle said suggestions from the faculty must be considered to address specific issues concerning the implementation of the law.

“[USTFU President George] Lim has communicated with the University [officials] that they have to involve the faculty members in the dialogue, insofar as K to 12 is concerned,” Tadle said. “We believe that we can also share some inputs on those policies that they may draft.”

Alan Macaraya, director of the Department of Labor and Employment’s National Capital Region office, told union representatives that proper faculty consultation must take place to solve the “massive displacement” of faculty members expected in 2016. “Dapat makipag-dialogue na [ang government] sa inyo to try to consult you kung ano talaga ang pwedeng gawin. There is nothing better than being prepared before these things fall on us,” Macaraya said.

The K to 12 program, which extends basic education to 12 years, will result in the absence of college enrollees in 2016, reducing the teaching loads distributed to college professors. As a result, teachers may be reassigned to administrative functions, their salaries may be diminished, and their security of tenure may be compromised, among others, Macaraya said.

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Elvin Uy, K to 12 coordinator of the Department of Education (DepEd), said the department would address the problem of displacement by allowing “qualified non-DepEd schools” to offer the senior high school program, allowing professionals, graduates, and teachers who did not pass the licensure exam for teachers to teach secondary education.

Financial assistance will be given to public school students entering Grade 11 in 2016 through the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act. This will cover one-third of tuition.

Around 150 faculty members of Metro Manila HEIs attended the forum, which was hosted by the USTFU and the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines. Gena Myrtle P. Terre

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