“This year’s opening of classes, larger burden were given to students and their parents as the government passed K-12 into law while the Supreme Court junked our petition to stop tuition fee increase,” said Marc Lino Abila, National Deputy Secretary General of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
Campus journalists and other youth groups marched to Mendiola to show their disgust on the government’s actions on the education sector, particularly the institutionalization of K-12 and the high court’s decision on the petition against tuition fee increase filed by Kabataan Partylist, College Editors Guild of the Philippines and other progressive youth and student organizations.
“Even with a change in curriculum, no improvement should be expected in the education system this school year.” said Charina Claustro, Deputy Secretary General of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-NCR. “Students will be welcomed by the deficiencies in our public schools and the insufficient number of teachers, classrooms, chairs and textbooks.”
“Despite the serious situation of our education system, the administration pushed the ratification of K-12, a program that will not address the problem, hence, worsen the condition,” explained Abila. “Thus, the Aquino administration gave the youth every reason to protest.”
“K-12 will also result to higher dropout rate,” Abila said. “68% of elementary graduates do not go on to high school, while 75% of high school graduates do not enter college. In the last two years, 15% of elementary-level children are out of school, while 39% of high school-level youth are not enrolled.”
“The current administration also makes higher education inaccessible to the poor with unfair school policies, insufficient government funding for state universities and colleges (SUCs) and continuing increase on school fees both in SUCs and private higher educational institutions,” Abila added.
“As long as the Philippine government prioritizes the needs of the international market for cheap labor thru K-12 instead of the needs of its own people, these education policies will continue,” Claustro said.
“K-12 aims its graduates to be market-ready laborers for the foreign market,” Abila added. “This will lead to the exploitation and abuse of our young workforce.”
“CEGP along with progressive youth organizations call the youth and their parents to join the call to junk K-12 and enact a tuition moratorium to stop unreasonable increase on school fees,” Abila ended. ###