All systems go for K to 12 in Davao Region

The Davao Region is 97% ready to implement the K to 12 Program, with the Senior High School (SHS) up for full implementation  by 2016, despite the cases it is facing at the Supreme Court. 

“We started the advocacy for K to 12  as early as 2010 even if the law was only signed in May 2013,” said Dr. Luzminda Onor, Chief of the DepEd Curriculum and Learning Materials Division (CLMD).

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to include six years of primary education, four years of Junior high school and two years of senior high school. Through this, the Program aims to prepare the students to master concepts and skills and prepare them for employment and entrepreneurship.

There are two laws that regulate the implementation of K to 12 and these are Republic Act 10157 or the Act institutionalizing Kindergarten Education and Republic Act 10533 which is the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

In Region XI, a total of 43 private schools have been given permits to offer SHS and the list is still growing since the DepEd is still evaluating the capability of the other private schools. While Schoolyear 2016-2017 will be the full implementation of the SHS, there are schools that have volunteered to be the early implementors by 2015.

On the other hand, almost all public schools are allowed to offer the SHS. However, Onor said, those with a population of more than 5,000 will have a standalone school that will offer SHS. There are three standalone schools in the city namely the Sta. Ana National High School, Davao City National High School and the Daniel Aguinaldo National High School

“By 2016 there will be 145,192 students that will enter Senior High School,” Onor said.

While DepEd will spearhead today a commemoration-celebration for the signing of K to 12 into law, there are other sectors that are not convinced with the K to 12 Program and have questioned its constitutionality with the Supreme Court.

The Council of Teachers and Staff of Universities and Colleges in the Philippines (COTESCUP), Suspend K to 12 Alliance and the Coalition for the Suspension of K to 12 questioned the constitutionality and petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of K to 12, Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 and its Implementing Rules and Regulation.

Earlier, Father Joel Tabora, President of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and vice president of he 1,300 member schools of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) said K to 12 has already began and it is impossible to put a stop to it now.

"We at CEAP are all opposed to any postponement. we have already began. This isn't just something you can stop," Tabora said.

Tabora said "It is way too late to ask for postponement now. I am disappointed that we have responsible Congressmen with whom we have been speaking all the time (about the K to 12) who are now saying that we have to postpone it.” 

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