Luistro: DepEd needs more money for K+12 program

by Joel Caballero, ANC

Posted at Oct 06 2010 02:54 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2010 07:27 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the budget for the education sector should increase annually in order for the "K+12" program to succeed.

Speaking on ANC's "Headstart with Karen Davila," Luistro added that he is also looking for alternative sources of funds for the education sector. These include the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

"We are about to talk with the League of Municipalities. This is counterpart funding, 50-50 type; the other is from the business community. I had talks with PCSO and PAGCOR. We are working on that," Luistro said.

The "K+12" program will add 2 years to the basic education of students after they finish 4 years in high school. Its implementation is set to begin by 2012. Luistro said it will be fully implemented for school year 2017-18.

Meantime Teachers' Dignity Coalition national chairperson Benjo Basas echoed Luistro's call for a bigger budget for education.

Basas also hit the proposed cuts in the budget for state colleges and universities in next year's budget, saying, "Ang problema natin, 'yung unang tinamaan ng budget cut 'yung state colleges and universities (Our problem is that state colleges and universities are the first to have budget cuts)."

He also urged Luistro to help teachers in their fight for better compensation since teachers will play a major role in the implementation of the "K+12" program. When asked how much a teacher's salary should be, Basas said it should not be less than P20,000 a month.

Luistro also bared his plan to form a panel which will review the present curriculum to find out how it can be improved. He said the Department of Education will coordinate with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on this.

"We will bring together a task force that will review the whole curriculum, then we will present this to CHED. Aalamin ng CHED kung ano 'yung competencies by year 12 para malaman ng TESDA kung ano program nila after that (CHED will find out (student's) competencies by year 12 so TESDA will know its programs afterwards)," Luistro said.

The secretary urged his critics to give the "K+12" program a chance. He called on parents to see the additional 2 years in basic education not as a burden, but as an investment.