By School Year 2016-17 the K to 12 Law or RA No. 10533 will be implemented.Â Secretary of Education Bro. Armin Luistro insists that the government is ready to carry out the provisions of the law.Â Do you really think the government is ready?
Where Are the Classrooms?
For example: The Putong National High School (formerly Bohol National High School) in Tagbilaran City has a projection that it will have 600 students in Grade 11.Â Assuming that all classes will be lecture-type at 50 students per class, then 12 new additional classrooms are needed.Â Let us just assume that the required laboratories can be used as classrooms.Â For the next year another 12 new classrooms will be needed for the Grade 12, making it a total of 24 classrooms.
The question is, where will you construct the 24 additional classrooms?Â There is no more space in the area.
Another question is, do you have enough time to construct the classrooms?Â The Bohol Earthquake Assistance Fund (BEA) was released to the Bohol Provincial Government almost a year ago and until now no construction has been started.
Legal requirements make the implementation of government projects very slow.Â There are yet no money released for the classrooms, no building plans, and sites are not yet available.Â How could the DepEd be ready to implement the K to 12 Law?
If by some miracle the government can release the money, make the building plans and secure the sites, there is still one big obstacle to overcome â€“ the Election Ban.Â On May next year there will be a National Election and public works projects will be banned.
Meanwhile, the classrooms, laboratories, equipments, etc. in the Colleges and Universities will be empty for lack of students. Â It is a waste of assets.
The objective of RA No. 10533 to improve the quality of education is commendable.Â However, its implementation is topsy-turvy.Â The survival and existence of the colleges and universities are threatened while the high schools are threatened to immobilization for lack of the capability to absorb the students of Grades 11 and 12.
In the high schools you have lack of classrooms, teachers, equipments, facilities, etc. while all these things are made idle in the colleges and universities.
Why does our government insist on implementing projects that will create problems?Â Is this part of our â€œMartyr Complexâ€?Â Do we need to be martyrs just to show the world that we can improve our educational system?
It Has Been Tried Before
The present educational philosophy proposed by the government is to provide manual skills to high school graduates.Â This philosophy is not new.
In the 1960s there was implemented the â€œTwo-two Plan (2-2 Plan)â€ where the students studied academics in the morning and work education in the afternoon.Â It was discontinued because only very few were interested in the work education.
During that time there were specialized â€œTrade Schoolsâ€ run by the government. The Bohol Trade School has now evolved into the Bohol Island State University and has abandoned its â€œTrade Schoolâ€ education.Â There were also many Vocational Schools during that time.
Now the two-years Senior High School will be divided into strands, which are basically academic and vocational strands.
It is strange to note that majority of the Public High Schools has opted for the General Academic Strand (GAS) and it is suggested that the Private High Schools will opt for the Vocational Education Strand.
Surveys indicate that if there is a choice between the Academic Strand and the Vocational Strand, the huge majority of high school students will choose the Academic Strand.Â Have we not learned from experience?Â Only very few want the vocational strand as experienced in the 2-2 Plan.Â So why not revive the Vocational Schools and Trade Schools?Â (Note: It was the urban schools that agitated of the elimination of the 2-2 Plan because they have no space for gardens and materials for handicrafts.)
The small private high schools in the towns have survived because of the GASPE (Government Assistance for Secondary Private Education).Â How can they survive if they will be offering the Vocational Strand, which only very few desires?
The private high schools in the towns have a unique niche in the community.Â There is no need to eliminate them.
Chaos In the Offing
If and when the K to 12 Law will be implemented, here are the probable sources of chaos that I can foresee:
- The colleges and universities will have problems what to do with their faculty, and there idle assets.
- What to do with high school graduates who have not yet entered college. It would be unfair and illogical if they will be made to undergo Senior High School.
- The high schools do not have the resources to cope with Grades 11 & 12.
- When the public high schools will start hiring teachers, the private high schools will have problems because their teachers will transfer to the public high schools.
- From experience of the 2-2 Plan only very few will opt for the Vocational Strand and the governmentâ€™s imagination of a skilled work force will remain an imagination.
- The teachers in Senior High Schools will be â€œsquare pegsâ€ in a round hole. The present graduates of the Bachelor in Education curriculum did not underwent the subjects they are about to teach.Â Example: Computer education.
According to rules, the B.Ed. graduates are more qualified than a Computer Engineer.Â (Note: Qualified but not necessarily competent.)
- There are no textbooks yet available because nobody knows whatâ€™s to be taught. (Note: Secretary Armin Luistro said that textbooks are available.Â How could it be?)