DepEd's +2 high school years draws flak

from an ANC report by Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2011 09:52 PM | Updated as of Sep 25 2011 07:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is alarmed by the high drop-out rate in schools.

Because of poverty, only 5 out of 10 first graders finish high school. And out of 5 high school graduates, only 2 enter college.

To address the problem, DepEd is adding 2 more years in high school.

Under the K+12 program, students will be taught new subjects and given vocational and technical training, and on-the-job training.

This is to enable them to land a job after graduation.

“Kung wala tayong college diploma, dehado tayo, mahirap makakuha ng trabaho,” said Elvin Uy, coordinator of the K+12 program.

This program begins in 2016. But this early, parents are resisting it.

“Modern facilities, dagdag na teachers, siguro ay sapat na iyon para tumaas ang kalidad ng pag-aaral n gating mga anak,” said one parent.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) agrees. “Kung itutulak ito nang walang kahandaan, sa halip na maisayos, lalong lilikha ng mga problema,” said Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Party-List.

Currently, there is a lack of 99,628 teachers and 66,800 classrooms across the country. This is why many public schools are overcrowded, with each room accommodating as many as a hundred students.

It's not clear how much the government needs for the project.

But ACT warns that the problem will worsen if the K+12 program is implemented prematurely.