LOUD WHISPERS| K to 12 Program has its merits

AT THE START of classes, K to 12 Program will be enforced. This was announced by Secretary Luistro nationwide over the media. Parents should not be alarmed over extra expenses in schooling because Kindergarten thru 12 years of basic education are offered for free in public schools, he added.

There are additional indirect costs, but government agencies are collaborating to provide programs that will enable everyone access to quality education, especially to those with lesser means.

Another option to decrease the cost of education, the Commission of Education (CHED) is also exploring the possibility of decreasing the number of years of certain degree programs in college.

(With this scheme, though, this writer thinks that this is a very good plan and this is possible.

Why? Because some of the major subjects that are offered in the Core Curriculum college degree programs will have to be offered already in Grades 11 and 12. These basic subjects include the following: English, Filipino, Philosophy, Psychology, Mathematics, basic science subjects, basic natural science subjects, education subjecs, etc.)

In terms of cost, it really is less expensive on the part of parents and guardians, as well. Reducing one or two years of schooling in College is already a great help. This will surely make the Filipino parents happy and in high-spirit.

This scheme will also give more opportunity for graduates to proceed to higher education level like Mater degrees or post graduate degrees. By then, perhaps, bachelor’s degree will only be completed in three years instead of four; bachelor’s degree in engineering will only be completed in four years instead of six or seven; and all other degrees that take more than four years to finish. Hopefully, even Medicine and Law degree programs will also be reduced from seven to nine, to four to five.

Oh, isn’t this great? Then, we will have more Filipinos who are very competitive, more educated and are smarter than other foreigners in our midst.

With the K to 12 Program, there are also proposals such as the expansion of the Education Service Contracting (ESC) scheme under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) and other cost-sharing arrangements are being developed by DepEd.

But with K to 12 Program, graduates can already obtain national certification from TESDA, (similar to a diploma after graduation) which will enable students to have more employment opportunities, here and even abroad.)

Another merit that K to 12 program has to offer to the Filipinos is, there will be lesser dropouts or “school leavers.” Keeping students in school is a responsibility of the entire community. To respond to this, DepEd and other government agencies are now collaborating to make sure that all children stay in school through programs like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD).

In so many conferences and seminars that teachers and professinals have attended for the purpose of K to 12 Awareness and Appreciation orientiation programs, still I observe that the participants seemed adamant and not so enthusiastic about the merits and opportunities that this novel scheme of educational system has to offer. This, to my mind, is really very great and very heartwarming.

However, again, we would not see the result of the efforts made by the new system in less than a decade. Surely, there would be stumbling blocks and obstacles that would come on the way to its success. One very vital factor that would hamper smooth implementation is, MONEY. If again and again, corruption would intervene in this aspect, this program will always fail and will go to naught. I only hope that what the government has already invested initially on this, would go and move on smoothly and steadily and fast.

The Aquino government has assured the Filipinos that DepEd will be implementing the program in the best interest of the Filipinos to ensure that funds and resources are not lost to corruption. DepEd fully supports the Aquino administration’s drive against corruption and it will regularly package and disseminate information on agency budgets, bidding and procurement documents, and SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) of senior government officials, to ensure transparency and accountability.

I see the K to 12 Program as a total make over or overhaul of a machine whose purpose is to convert the original structure to a something that would shock the world.

Surely, this will be a “culture schock” among us. This will be a twist from the ugly to the beautiful. This will be a total facelifting of an ignoramus to a bright, intelligent and better person.

In general, the K to 12, to my mind, is the medicine that would cure our ailing country. (fvs)

Posted in Opinion