How to cushion K to 12 transition’s impact on economy
We fully support the noble objectives of the K to 12 program. It is important for our graduates to be able to meet the requirements of the Washington Accord, Bologna Accord, Sydney Accord and other forthcoming accords so that as professionals they will be accepted as co-equals of other professionals in the world. However, it is as important at this time that we examine critically problems attendant to the introduction of Grades 11 and 12 in school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 and that we find the most economical solutions to these problems.
The main problems pinpointed in various conferences are:
1. Billions of pesos will be needed for new buildings, equipment and supplies, as well as for the hiring and training of additional teachers and staff for Grades 11 and 12. Can we afford these?
2. Colleges and universities will have virtually no first-year students for both school years 2016-2018. These will bring tremendous financial problems to our public and private (higher education institutions (HEIs).
3. There will be no college graduates for two school years (2020-2022) and no Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) graduates (at least at the NC 2 level) for two school years (2016-2018). This will mean a substantial decrease in Tesda and collegiate graduates going overseas in those years and, therefore, lesser OFW remittances for four years. Missed for two years, this would be disastrous; our credit rating could go down. Can we afford this?
4. Our absence for two years will force foreign employers to get their requirements from China, India, Vietnam, Thailand and others, which are all wanting to put in their own skilled workers. Again, this will be disastrous.
Recommendations regarding these problems from various conferences have been sent to the Office of the President, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and Tesda, as follows:
To minimize the expenditures in Problem 1, it is recommended that HEIs, public and private, be commissioned to handle the 11th and 12th years. If accepted, this recommendation will give us three years to thresh out the details of this proposal.
To minimize the impact of having no first-year students (Problem 2) during the two transition school years (2016-2018), we give Grade 10 graduates the option to take up CHEd and/or Tesda courses. This will solve Problems 3 and 4 as we will have graduates going abroad during the transition years. We will have to explain to the US and European Accords that this will only be during the transition years.
There are other problems related to the above problems and resolutions, but we are hopeful these could be threshed out without much difficulty.
We hope the policies of the DepEd and the Steering Committee will be finalized soon to enable all those concerned to prepare for SY 2016-2018.
—MARCELO V. FERNANDEZ, president,
Central Luzon Association of Higher
Education Institutions Inc.;
REYNATO C. ARIMBUYUTAN,
president, Philippine Association of Higher
Education and Technical Institutions
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