House passes K to 12 bill on second reading

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?There is a consensus to reform the basic education curriculum. But the solution is not to legislate K to 12 immediately, without us even waiting for an evaluation, an assessment of K-12?s effectivity,? Palatino said. Palatino was one of the last legislators who interpellated on HB 6643 during the plenary deliberation. While on the floor, the youth solon raised several issues on the K to 12 Bill, particularly on the underlying principles of adding two years to the country?s basic education cycle, including the aim to ?decongest? the curriculum and provide employment opportunities for the youth. ?Curricular reforms are not enough to resolve the high drop-out rates in the high school level. DepEd already decongested the basic education curriculum under the Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC) over a decade ago. Yet, we still have high drop-out rates,? he explained. ?If we implement K-12, can we promise K-12 graduates that they will have jobs after they graduate? No, we cannot promise that. Even college graduates now find it hard to get jobs,? Palatino said. Palatino appealed to his fellow legislators to wait for the one-year evaluation of K-12, which the Department of Education started implementing this school year. ?Isn?t it more proper for Congress to wait for the one-year evaluation of K to 12 before we legislate? I don?t understand the reason for rushing the passage of a legislation that will affect millions of students, even if the curricular reforms under K-12 have not yet been evaluated,? he explained. One of the objectives of House Bill 6643 is to enhance the quality of basic education in a manner that is least disruptive to the current curriculum, most affordable to government, and families and aligned with international practice. Another objective of the measure is to change public perception that?s secondary education is just a preparation for college; rather, it should allow one to take advantage of opportunities for gainful career or employment and or self-employment in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment. The bill prescribes for an enhanced basic education program that encompasses one (1) year of kindergarten education, six (6) years of elementary education, and six (6) years of secondary education consisting of four (4) years junior high school and two (2) years senior high school education. Another provision of the bill is that it integrates in the secondary education curriculum subjects mandated by existing laws currently being offered in the tertiary curriculum in addition to the general education curriculum (GEC) subjects that may hereafter be determined by the DepEd as part of the new curriculum. The measure also empowers the Department of Education (DepEd), in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), to formulate the design and details of the enhanced basic education curriculum. Under the bill, a curriculum consultative committee is created to be chaired by the DepEd secretary purportedly to oversee the review and evaluation on the implementation of the basic education curriculum and recommend the necessary refinements in the curriculum. The K to 12 bill seeks to extend the benefits accorded by the Expanded Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in the Private Education Act to the poor but deserving students enrolled under the enhanced basic education. Among the key provisions of the bill is that it allows the DepEd and private education institutions to hire graduates of science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, music and other degree courses with shortages in qualified LET applicants to teach in their specialized subjects in the elementary and secondary education on condition that they pass the Licensure Examination for teachers (LET) within five years after their date of hiring. ]]>

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