Manila Science HS teachers, parents want K-12 junked

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 23 2015 08:50 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2015 04:50 PM

MANILA - A petition to be filed today in the Supreme Court (SC) alleges that the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum has diluted the special science curriculum of the Manila Science High School and violated the right of its students to quality education and the duty of their parents and teachers to ensure that they get that kind of education.

Petitioners are parents and teachers of students from Manila Science High School.

Through lawyer Ver Brillantes, they alleged that Republic Act No. 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act, and the implementing Department of Education Order No. 31 are unconstitutional.

“The Philippine legislature gravely abused its discretion in enacting a law which unfairly and unreasonably required herein petitioner students (and the Class they represent) to attend two additional years of senior high school as a precondition to entry to college, violative of their rights to substantive due process and equal protection of the laws as well as to select a course of study subject only to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements,” read the petition.

''The K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum which in effect diluted the school’s special science curriculum, violated the legal and constitutional right of petitioner students to quality education and thus the duty of petitioner and parents and teachers to ensure that kind of education for them.''

Petitioners accused the DepEd of usurping legislative powers in issuing Order No. 31 to implement the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum and Senior High School.

It was issued without legal authority since Congress was still deliberating on the law at that time, they added.

Three petitions have been filed before the SC questioning the K-12 program.

Last March, the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines filed a similar petition questioning the legality of the K-12 program under Republic Act 10533 and its implementing rules and regulations.

Last month, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed a similar petition.

Last Thursday, collegiate teachers and staff comprising “Suspend K-12 Coalition” made the same petition before the SC.

Last month, Reps. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis and Terry Ridon of Kabataan a petition before the SC related to the K-12 program, along with professors from universities, student leaders and lawmakers.

The third petition was filed by Suspend K-12 Alliance led by Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate.

Last April 22, the SC stopped implementation of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum No. 20–2013 insofar as it abolishes Filipino and Panitikan as mandatory subjects in colleges and universities in line with the implementation of government’s K-12 education program.

The government has defended the legality of its K-12 education program.

In a 37-page comment filed through Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, the DepEd rebutted the claim that RA 10533 violates the rights of education workers to full protection of labor, promotion of full employment and equality of employment opportunities as mandated under the Constitution.

Petitioners told the SC that more than 70,000 college teachers and non-teaching personnel stand to lose their jobs as a result of the full implementation of the program in 2016.

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