Broadcaster and former social welfare secretary Erwin Tulfo recently got three things wrong about the K to 12 program.
First, the Department of Education hasn’t announced any plans to scrap the program by schoolyear 2024-2025, as Tulfo wrongly claimed, but intends to roll out the new curriculum of K to 10, or Kinder to Grade 10, by 2024.
Second, a bill filed by Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to enhance the country’s basic education has not been approved, so Tulfo’s claim that the K to 12 program will be removed through that measure is false.
Third, students going to college still have to take senior high school under the Arroyo bill, contrary to Tulfo’s claim that graduating from Grade 10 merits a ticket to college under the measure.
The broadcaster made these erroneous claims in his radio show Erwin Tulfo On Air over state-run station Radyo Pilipinas on May 23. Tulfo said at the 4:51 mark:
Plano ng Department of Education (DepEd) naitupad na, ipatupad na ang roll-out ng K to 10. Aaalisin na ang K to 12 sa susunod na taon, school year 2024-2025 (The Department of Education’s plan has been fulfilled, the roll-out of K to 10 will be done. K to 12 will be removed in the next year, school year 2024-2025).
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said in an interview on May 19 the agency aims to implement the new K to 10 curriculum by 2024. He did not mention any plans of DepEd to remove the K to 12 program, only the revision of curricula.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte also did not say the K to 12 program will be removed by 2024. In a video of her discussing the K to 12 program in Oriental Mindoro, she only said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is pushing for a review of the program for possible removal. She said at the 0:07 mark:
Right now, mayroong direksyon na pinag-aaralan na tanggalin (at) gawing voluntary ang Grade 11 and 12 para sa mga higher education. Nag-utos na ang pangulo na kailangan pag-aralan (Right now, there is a direction to study the removal and make Grades 11 and 12 voluntary higher education. … The President said [K to 12] should be studied).
Duterte mentioned Arroyo’s bill, House Bill No. 7893, only because of the K to 12 program’s failure to provide more job opportunities for senior high graduates as promised by the program.
In the bill’s explanatory note, Arroyo said:
Grades 11 and 12 were added to the country's basic education program on the assumption that with the two additional years, senior high school (SHS) graduates should be able to immediately get a job, or put up their own business should they choose not to pursue college. Unfortunately, the reality of the market seems to be that the private sector continues to prefer hiring college or university graduates over those who finish the K-to-12 program.
The failure of the K to 12 program to provide its graduates with promised advantages exacerbates the additional burden on parents and students imposed by two additional years of basic education.
As of writing, Arroyo’s bill has not been approved and is still pending with the Committee on Basic Education and Culture, House records show.
Aside from mistaking the bill as having been approved, Tulfo also wrongly reported that HB 7893 will allow students who finish Grade 10 to enroll in tertiary education. He said at the 5:05 mark:
Ang ibig sabihin, balik na naman tayo sa 4th year high school, sa Grade 1 to Grade 6, first year, second year, third year, wala na muna Grade 7, 8, 9 – mayroon din pero hanggang Grade 10 lang tapos college ka na (This means that we return to having 4th year high school, from Grade 1 to 6, first year, second year, third year, wala na muna Grade 7, 8, 9 – there will be but only until Grade 10 and then college).
Section 1 of the bill states that Grades 11 and 12 are required for students who wish to pursue “professional degree studies” or higher education such as college:
The enhanced basic education education program encompasses at least one (1) year of kindergarten education, six (6) years of elementary education, and four (4) years of secondary education, in that sequence. Provided that, there shall be an additional two (2) years of post-secondary, pre-university education as preparation for professional degree studies. …
Post-secondary education, pre-university education refers to the fourth state of education, compulsory only as preparation for professional degree studies.
The bill also does not specify a specific schoolyear of when it plans to impose the K + 10 + 2 program should this be passed into a law.
As of May 23, Tulfo’s live radio broadcast has reached 7,127 total views, 645 reactions, 641 comments, and 137 shares on Facebook. The broadcaster has a following of over 6 million on the social media platform. (DF)