Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has finally changed his mind about the K to 12 program being implemented by the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Duterte has transformed from being an opponent of the education program into being its supporter.
“I said I was against it early on when it was being implemented. But some of the bright guys in DepEd (Department of Education) came to see me here in Davao and explained to me how we are lagging behind our neighbors,” Duterte told the press.
The incoming president added that he now sees the value of adopting the K to 12 education program for the students. He now sees the K to 12 program as the key to improving the quality of Filipino students to be on par with foreign students.
“Karamihan dito, mga Chinese bright sa Math, ang mga Pilipino bright sa bolahan (Mostly, Chinese students are bright in Math. Filipino students are bright in nonsense),” Duterte explained.
The K to 12 program was introduced through the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 signed by Aquino. The purpose of the education program is to provide students with an education cycle of 12 years after finishing kindergarten.
The additional two years of education prior to college under the K to 12 program aims to give students the opportunity to specialize in different fields based on their skills and interests.
Before the K to 12 program was implemented in the country, the Philippines was the last country in Asia, and one of the three countries worldwide, that implemented a pre-university education cycle of only 10 years.
Various sectors are complaining that the K to 12 education program will have a negative impact on poor families due to the additional years of schooling for the children. However, K to 12 is supposed to be free for students of public school except for some indirect and miscellaneous expenses.
The Supreme Court had already denied the petition of several sectors to temporarily stop the implementation of the government’s K to 12 education program.