Congress tackles 12-year basic education plan

by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2012 08:54 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2012 04:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Congressional joint committee on basic education and culture and the committee on higher and technical education have started deliberations on 4 House bills that aim to add 2 more years to basic education.

The proposed bills support the Department of Education's (DepEd) "K+12" program.

During the hearing, several members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and the National Union of Students in the Philippines voiced their opposition to the proposed additional 2 years of basic education, saying it will just add expenses to parents.

Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, one of the principal authors of two of the bills, however, defended the proposals saying that the measure seeks to enhance the quality of basic education, solve the problem of mismatch of skills and jobs, solve unemployment and underemployment, and improve quality of education of high school graduates.

Dy also explained that better basic education will help parents because their children who graduate from high school will get jobs.

In the proposed law, senior year of high school is a vocational curriculum that will teach students vocational courses.

The DepEd also explained that the proposed law will help high school graduates find jobs because they will be armed with added knowledge, skills and know-how once they graduate high school.

DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said the Philippines is the only country in Asia and among 3 remaining countries in the world that have a 10-year basic education cycle.

In case the proposed law is passed, it will be implemented starting 2016. However, for this coming school year, a new curriculum will be introduced for Grade 1 and first year if the measure is approved.