Philippines on track for K to 12 reform and Zero Backlog in 2013
House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill No.
6643, which will enact the K to 12 Basic Education Program into law. The
Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 would give access to two more
years of free basic education for Filipinos, while enabling holistic
development and readiness for different paths.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said that the overwhelming
support from the House of Representatives and various stakeholders
combined with results on the public’s trust in DepEd and its flagship
program makes him very hopeful for the success of the broader education
reform agenda needed by the Philippines.
grateful to the authors and supporters of the proposed bill in the House
of Representatives, especially Rep. Sandy Ocampo, Presiding Officer of
the Committee on Basic Education and Culture, Speaker Feliciano
Belmonte, and the late Salvador Escudero III. Our gratitude also goes to
Sen. Angara and his co-authors in the Senate in pushing for the passage
of bill,” Luistro said.
The K to 12 Basic Education
Program prescribes an enhanced system that includes one year of
Kindergarten, 6 years of elementary education, and 6 years of secondary
education consisting of 4 years of Junior High School and two years of
Senior High School. It aims to develop lifelong learners who will be
prepared for higher education, employment, entrepreneurship, and equip
them with middle-level skills.
sponsorship speech, Rep. Ocampo cited the imperative for legislating
this reform, “we must continue to train our sights on our collective and
sacred duty as local and national leaders: that of providing every
Filipino with the best shot at a decent life. I submit that there is
only one real and guaranteed equalizer: high quality education that is
accessible to all.” She emphasized this along with DepEd’s progress in
achieving milestones for the education sector, especially on augmenting
To address concerns on
preparedness, she also said, “the enhanced curriculum is a product of
thorough researches, which looked into the best practices of our
neighbor countries and our own experiences in schools and communities
nationwide.” She further explained the features of the program and
implementation strategies to be employed by Department of Education
(DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and
Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and necessary support from the
House, Senate, Local Government Units, and the private sector.
“Implementing institutional reforms and addressing resource shortages
go hand in hand, and both have immense bearing on the quality of our
graduates,” Luistro explained. “Delaying one in favor of the other would
further set us back in meeting our goal of making our basic education
system attuned to the needs of the 21st century, and accessible to all
Filipinos,” added Luistro.
DepEd, in partnership
with the private sector and other government agencies, continues to
build more classrooms while at the same time giving due course on
repairs and rehabilitation of its existing facilities. The department
has constructed over 27,000 new classrooms since June 2010 and is
targeted to build over 40,000 more next year. It is also on track in
achieving zero backlog in seats and textbooks by the end of this year.
“We are on track to deliver all needed resources in our schools by
December 2013 through active sourcing of funds and the enlistment of
support from our education partners,” Luistro said.