March 14, 2015, 6:01 p.m. – TEACHING and non-teaching
personnel of several higher educational institutions (HEIs) filed a petition at
the Supreme Court (SC) on March 12 to call for the suspension of the full
implementation of the K to 12 program in 2016.

A coalition of HEI employees named “Suspend K to 12
Alliance” marched from Plaza Salamanca in Kalaw, Manila to the SC to show their
opposition to K to 12, which they described as an “unprepared and ill-designed
education program.”

“The government is not ready to implement a 12-year basic
education program as mandated by the K to 12 law, as seen in the insufficiency
of classrooms, facilities, and instructional materials needed by the current
10-year program,” the alliance said in a statement.

According to the alliance, the government should first
“increase its budget allocation for education, the salaries and benefits of
both teaching and non-teaching personnel, and provide sufficient in-service
professional development for teachers” before pursuing full implementation.

“Ang K to 12 ay produkto ng cramming o pagmamadali.
Matatapos na ang termino ng pangulo at gustong ipatupad ang batas na hindi
nagsaalang-alang sa karapatan ng mga guro at kawani,” Rebecca Añonuevo,
professor at Miriam College, said during the protest.

UST Faculty Union (USTFU) External Vice President Rene Luis
Tadle, head of the Suspend K to 12 Alliance, said the new curriculum has made
Philippine education more complicated.

“Sa nakikita namin, mas maraming tanong kaysa sagot. We
always attend the hearings in Congress but when we look at it, there’s not much
progress,” Tadle said in an interview.

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Around 85,000 HEI employees risk losing their jobs come the
transition period of the K to 12 program, a study by the Commission on Higher
Education and the Department of Labor and Employment had showed.

Revenendo Vargas, board member of the UST High School
Parents’ Association and founding chairman of the group Parents Advocacy for
Children’s Education, said they were working on another petition to suspend K
to 12, which will be filed at the SC next month.

“Mayroong isang bahagi dun sa batas na hindi malinaw, ‘yung
mandatory evaluation. Kung kinikilala ‘yung magulang na stakeholder, hindi
malinaw dun sa mandatory evaluation kung paano kami iko-consider o
ikokonsulta,” Vargas said in an interview.

Vargas added the alliance was also conducting information
campaigns for a nationwide protest, which is set to take place at Luneta on May
9.

Faculty unions and associations that supported the petition
came from UST, Far Eastern University, Adamson University, St. Scholastica’s
College-Manila, San Sebastian College, Mapua Institute of Technology, and
Centro Escolar University. Arianne F. Merez

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