MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is pushing for the suspension of the K to 12 program until "fundamental problems" in the education system have been resolved.
In a statement, Trillanes said: "It is in the best interest of the country to suspend the K to 12 Program while we continue to face the perennial problems of our education system, such as the lack of classrooms and school materials, high student-teacher ratio, and low salary of teachers."
"In addition to this is the government's unpreparedness to the threatened retrenchment of around 85,000 college professors and employees when the program commences in 2016."
Trillanes just came from a country-wide inspection regarding the K to 12 program.
He said there is a need first to create a conducive learning environment for students.
"There are still a lot of schools which continue to use make-shift classrooms, or take shifts in using classrooms just to accommodate their students. This situation would even worsen once two batches of students would be absorbed in addition to the four levels of high school that we have now. In terms of school materials, students continue to share with each other with the ratio of as high as four students per module. This number will definitely increase as the K to 12 Program commences in 2016,” he said.
He also lamented the P3,000 salary each volunteer Kindergarten teacher receives a month. He also raised the inadequate training being provided for teachers, who sometimes shoulder the cost of their training, in preparation to the K to 12 implementation.
Several teachers also raised the possibility of the retrenchment of college-level educators because of the K to 12 program.
"More than numbers, these are people who have families to support. The government should have anticipated this scenario when they pushed for this overly ambitious program," he said.