“We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford to pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.”
– President Benigno S. Aquino III
This is part of President Benigno "NoyNoy" Aquino III's Educational Reform Program. The P-Noy Administration firmly believes that adding more years to Basic Education in the Philippines could help solve the problem of unemployment, keep up with global standards, and help Filipino students to have more time to choose the career that best suit their skills. But, are Filipinos ready for it?
The enhanced K-12 Education Plan is said to add one more year on both primary and secondary levels excluding kindergarten. The program is proposed to start in school year 2012-2013 for Grade 1 and first year high school students with the target of full implementation by SY 2018-2019. K-12 has been met with criticism from youth and student groups, teachers, parents and the academic community. The DepEd, for its part, appears determined to enact the program with its proposed budget catering mostly to preparing the grounds for its eventual implementation. Critics, however, counteract that the education crisis needs to be addressed more fundamentally and adding more school years would only worsen our condition.
As a teacher, I am completely aware of the government’s (through the DepEd) desire to uplift the quality of education here in the Philippines. Each year, the need for highly competitive graduates continues to grow as the demand for high paying jobs spread across the globe. With this proposed K-12 education program, there is a probability that it might help us realize that. Though there are other concerns in the education sector that need more immediate response and