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The Department of Education plans to implement what they call, “An enhanced 12-year education program”. 

Which will add 1 year in the elementary level and another year in secondary level. 

What’s your stand on this issue? 

Personally, I do think that we have more important things to prioritize than adding another 2 years in basic education. The government should address the quality of education that our public schools provide. If this is implemented, another 2 years of basic education would mean another financial burden for the parents and a stab on their pockets if the quality of educations stays the same.

How about the shortage of classrooms, teachers and textbooks? Those are the things that the government should meet first. See, it’s not the length of education that matters but the quality of education that the students receive.

Let’s take my helper and her son as a case. Ate M is a single mom who needs to be away from his son 6 days a week to work for us so she can send him to school. But the son (an ungrateful lad) ditches school for games and God-what knows. His reason was that the classroom was so cramped, it was hard to listen and learn so might as well ditch it and do something fun. The boy’s wrong I know, but he has a point. If this happens today, what more if the government adds 2 more years? Will it result to a more ungrateful and lazy students like Ate M’s son? 

I do get the point of adding a year in secondary level especially if the curriculum involves subjects that will equip students with technical and vocational skills. Knowing that only 10% of High school students actually graduates to College, the added year in high school sounds reasonable but adding a year in elementary level is simply absurd. My point is, the problem of our education system is not on its curriculum or on its length but the lack of an environment conducive for teaching and learning. 

Surely, this plan will benefit a lot–the rich families who can afford to send their children to school. I believe that poor students will just drop out because of financial burdens.

Add more classrooms, add more schools, give teachers the pay they deserve, provide quality textbooks and most especially, lower the cost of education…when all these are done, I’m game with DepEd’s 12-year education.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  

Updated May 28, 2011:

A Pinay Mom’s Thoughts on K+12 Education in The Philippines