By CHARISSA M. LUCI
June 6, 2012, 10:58pm
Amid protests against the implementation of the Aquino administration’s K to 12 program, the House committee on basic education and culture will continue to push legislation institutionalizing a 12-year basic education cycle.
Basic education and culture committee chairman Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, said the technical working group (TWG) formed to consolidate three bills establishing a 12-year basic education cycle will continue its work.
“The opposition to the K to 12’s implementation is normal. But this won’t in any way affect the work of the TWG,” he told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.
Escudero cited the need to pass the measure, saying the Philippines remains on the list of countries that includes Angola and Djibouti still using a 10-year basic education cycle.
“When are we going to be ready? We are lagging behind our neighbors,” Escudero said.
The TWG comprises members from the Escudero’s committee and from the House committee on higher and technical education chaired by Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara.
It is consolidating three K to 12 measures authored separately by Escudero, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and and Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) party-list Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay.
“We are targeting to pass the measure and transmit it to the House committee on rules to have it scheduled for plenary debate next month,” he said.
He expects that the consolidated measure to be passed by House before the 15th Congress ends on June 2013 with President Aquino’s support.
Last month, Escudero’s and Angara’s respective committees agreed to form the TWG to consolidate the K to 12 measures on the motion of Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry A. Teves.
The Kabataan and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list groups earlier questioned the implementation of the K-to-12 program, saying “no power has been granted to the Department of Education to increase the years of formal education as outlined in the K to 12 program.”
There is a need to institutionalize a 12-year basic education cycle, pressed on the need to pass a bill institutionalizing the DepEd program because foreign employers prefer graduates who had a “global standard” education, said Escudero.
“I met delegates from Thailand, they are Agriculture graduates. They were being pressured by employers to reduce their salaries because they only finished a four-year course. Many OFWs are on the same boat and they have been working in Thailand in the past nearly two decades,” he said.
He said if the Congress fails to pass the measure, many OFWs will also suffer the similar fate.