THE FIGHT to stop the implementation of the K to 12 scheme is not yet over, as petitioners are set to file a motion asking the Supreme Court (SC) to reconsider its March 15 decision not to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the basic education reform law.

Rene Luis Tadle, lead convener of the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines and former external vice president of the UST Faculty Union, maintained that the K to 12 law—which adds two more years to high school education—was unconstitutional and that the government was not prepared to implement it.

“[It] was only the TRO that was denied. The SC is still deliberating on the merits of the petition. We hope that the SC will decide before June,” he said in an e-mail to the Varsitarian.

Unless the high tribunal declares the K to 12 Law unconstitutional, the education reform will be implemented next academic year. Tadle said the council would file its motion for reconsideration “upon formal receipt of the decision” from the Supreme Court.

Tadle argued that the full implementation of the K to 12 program would marginalize poor students. “[The K to 12 law] brings profit to a number of private schools to the detriment of millions of parents, teachers and students. Moreover, some schools are taking advantage of this K to 12 transition to contractualize their workforce,” he said.

Senatorial candidate Roman Romulo, who headed the education committee at the House of Representatives, has called anew for the postponement of K to 12. “I prefer that the Department of Education (DepEd) admits that it is not ready, that it will not be able to provide quality education. So maybe after one or two years they can implement it, anyway the law is already there,” Romulo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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Rector urged to tap CHEd funding

Tadle urged UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. “to take advantage of CHEd’s funding” to ensure jobs for University faculty without sacrificing their tenure.

“It may be safe to assume that 200 of them (faculty members) can be [transferred to] UST Senior High School, and so there remains 700 [members] who may be displaced in the next five years. The challenge therefore to UST is how to take advantage of CHEd’s funding to be able to retain most of them,” he said. “I believe that part of the strategy is how to look for ways so that no teacher will be left behind. From what the government offers, we believe that there are existing opportunities that UST can take advantage of to lessen the impact of displacement.”

Fr. Dagohoy earlier told the Varsitarian UST would retain tenured faculty members despite the full implementation of the K to 12 program next academic year.

Aside from Tadle’s council, petitioners against K to 12 include the Suspend K-12 Coalition, also led by Tadle; Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisang Progresibong mga Manggagawa; Federation of Free Workers; National Confederation of Labor; senator and vice presidential candidate Antonio Trillanes IV and the Magdalo Partylist.

Other supporters include National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers’ Partylist, senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna Partylist, representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Partylist, Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis Partylist and Terry Ridon of Kabataan Partylist.

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