Can’t magic away K-to-12 dropouts
ANAKBAYAN DECRIES the Department of Education’s self-congratulatory statement on the “best school opening thus far.”
Outgoing Education Secretary Armin Luistro is seemingly intent on glossing over the fact that the first-year implementation of the Senior High School program under the K-to-12 curriculum is mired in deep-seated problems—from unfinished classrooms to lack of teachers and facilities. All of us are witnesses to the opening of classes last June 13; it was a disaster that Luistro and the DepEd are apparently oblivious of.
In his public statements, Luistro confirmed that 200,000 to 400,000 Grade 10 finishers had yet to enroll in Grade 11. In other words, they are dropouts.
Instead of profusely apologizing for such a catastrophe, Luistro is picking battles with youth groups, including Anakbayan, saying that the estimated 400,000 dropouts are far from our earlier estimate of 1 million.
Still, 400,000 is 400,000—a large number that the DepEd cannot just magic away. This figure actually means 400,000 families left with no choice but to give up their dream of having their children finish school. Before the K-to-12 regime, these families could proudly say that their children graduated in high school. Now, those who would have graduated are dropouts.
What the DepEd cannot accept is the fact that the K-to-12 program poses an economic burden that many families cannot surmount. In its rush to implement the Aquino administration’s so-called “legacy program,” the education department has jeopardized the future of close to half a million Filipino students.
In this light, Anakbayan remains firm in its call to junk the K-to-12 program and let the Grade 10 completers be considered high school graduates eligible for college.
—VENCER CRISOSTOMO, national chair, Anakbayan, [email protected]
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