Press Release
May 5, 2015

Bam: Help DepEd Prepare for K-to-12 Challenges

Senator Bam Aquino urges different stakeholders to help the Department of Education (DepEd) prepare for the challenges ahead regarding the K-to-12 Program, instead of tearing down this crucial educational reform initiative.

"The challenges ahead are real but we still have time. Change is difficult. Reforms are difficult but they need to be done," said Aquino during the Senate Committee on Education hearing on the implementation of the K-to-12 program.

"From where we are now and where we need to be next year, needs a lot of cooperation from many different sectors," the senator stressed.

Sen. Bam suggested the creation of K to 12 Local Readiness Councils composed of teachers, parents and businesses to help address any gaps left for the K-to-12 Program. "The DepEd can convert existing Brigada Eskwela structures in localities to be their main partners on the ground to support the K to 12 implementation," suggested Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth.

During the hearing, Sen. Bam emphasized that concerned government agencies must be prepared for challenges ahead as they implement the program that is expected to modernize the country's educational system.

"Now is the time to work together for our youth, not tear down reforms that we need to be globally competitive," added Sen. Bam.

DepEd officials, led by Secretary Armin Luistro, expressed confidence that the department can fill up around 30,000 vacant teaching positions needed to effectively implement the program.

"We need to ensure that we can get teachers who are competent and have the right discipline to match the needs the schools have," Sen. Bam said.

During its presentation, the DepEd said it is currently training 70,000-plus teachers for elementary and 80,000-plus teachers for high school as of 2015 to prepare them for the program.

"We've been doing the reforms for five years now. Ngayon pa ba tayo bibitiw? Kailangan lahat ay kasama rito - ang pamahalaan, ang private schools, ang mga teachers' groups, mga estudyante, pati business sector - dapat magkaisa sa pagpapatupad ng repormang ito," the senator said.

The DepEd also plans to conduct a massive information campaign, including the establishment of help desks in schools, to enlighten the public about the program.

"The Philippine education reform is not only the DepEd's responsibility, it's everyone's responsibility," added the senator.

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