April 24, 2012
K TO 12 REFORMS WILL PROVIDE WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION, JOBS: ANGARA'S STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
The proposed K to 12 reform--and the wholesale changes aimed at strengthening our educational system--is not only timely, but long overdue.
The call for educational reforms was sounded off three decades ago, back when I led the chaired the Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) which recommended the trifocalization of the system into the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
But through the resolve of the DepEd, headed by Secretary Armin Luistro, we will finally start delivering world-class education to a larger number of Filipinos at relatively no cost to them.
We cannot afford to delay this any further. The National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB) has warned that over the past decade, the number of college students who graduate each year has not increased fast enough to meet the growing needs of our population.
Fewer students are also graduating from courses related to education science, teacher training, engineering and technology--fields critical to our growth industries. We must not allow these worrisome trends to continue if we hope to provide good jobs and income to our people.
This is a significant challenge--one that cannot be achieved in just one year, or in the span of one administration. And I agree that the solution goes beyond adding two years to the education cycle.
The curriculum and teaching methods will have to be evaluated and improved accordingly to deal with the use of the mother tongue as well as meet the evolving needs of our people. Our teachers will have to be trained in novel pedagogies. The lack of school buildings and other necessary infrastructure will have to be addressed as quickly and as sustainably as possible. Cutting edge technologies, like high-speed ICTs, will have to be utilized to reach more students.
But the process of change must start now. The K to 12 reforms are a work in progress which requires our continuous dialogue and cooperation.
Let today's launch be allow us to reverse downtrends once and for all, and propel the Filipino people to a more prosperous, competitive future.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara is the present Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, Committee on Science and Technology, and Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) (30)
 In its latest edition of Sexy Statistics entitled "Worrisome Trends in the Deterioration of our Human Capital" posted 18 April 2012. http://www.nscb.gov.ph/sexystats/2012/SS20120418_grads.asp [Accessed on April 24, 2012]
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