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Lawmaker pushing for review, not removal, of K to 12 program

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian only asked incoming Education Secretary and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte to reform the K to 12 program. Neither he nor Duterte has proposed to scrap it, contrary to social media posts that claim such.

Gatchalian said on May 12 Duterte’s landslide victory in the vice presidential elections meant she had the “political capital” to implement sweeping education reforms, among these a review of the K to 12 program. No statement of its abolition has come from Gatchalian.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, also said on March 19 he plans to conduct an oversight review of the K to 12 program, citing challenges with curriculum congestion and teacher training.

A social media user on Facebook, however, posted on May 13 the following false claim:

Sa mga nag papakalat po jan na yung k-12 gagawing k-14 hindi po totoo yun. ang totoo po nyan is aalisin daw po yung k-12. first proposal po yan ni WIN GATCHALIAN kasi daw mas lumulubog sa hirap ang pilipinas dahil hindi daw kaagad nakakapagtapos ng maaga ang lahat ng mag aaral (To those spreading that K-12 will become K-14, that’s not true. The truth is K-12 will be removed. That’s the first proposal of Win Gatchalian, because the Philippines is going to sink deeper in poverty if students don’t graduate soon).

Duterte said June 20 president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave instructions to review the K to 12 program. She said the program’s abolition “became a topic of discussion between them,” but did not say whether they support its complete removal.

Some social media users misconstrued a GMA News report from June 19, which included soundbites from Filipinos who wish to remove senior high school, and tweeted that plans to junk the program are underway.

Many of the claims mention K to 12 as synonymous with the added two years of senior high school, which is only one aspect of the reform passed in 2013. The program encompasses other aspects of education such as the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education in grade school and the spiral progression or repeat instruction of science subjects every year in junior high school.

The post reached 200 reactions, 38 shares and 7 comments. Some quote retweets of the GMA News Report accused Duterte of taking the opportunity of senior high school away from them. (CC)


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