Business groups urge gov’t to address concerns over K to 12

President Benigno S. Aquino III shares the stage with the students from the Center for Excellence (CENTEX) Elementary School for a group photo souvenir during the ceremonial signing of Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Malaca?n Palace on Wednesday (May 15). The K to 12 program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. In photo are House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., and Senator Edgardo Angara. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III shares the stage with the students from the Center for Excellence (CENTEX) Elementary School for a group photo souvenir during the ceremonial signing of Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Malaca?n Palace on Wednesday (May 15). The K to 12 program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. In photo are House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., and Senator Edgardo Angara. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Apr 24 (Mabuhay) – Business groups supporting the K to 12 program urged the government to proactively address, through continued dialogue with stakeholders, the concerns of the public over the implementation of education reforms.

Like any systemic reform, the K to 12 initiative continues to face implementation challenges such as the potential displacement of tertiary faculty and staff during the 2012 to 2016 transition phase, the Philippine Business for Education (PBED) said during a press briefing on Friday.

It noted fears over the possible closure of higher education institutions, particularly small colleges due to significant revenue loses, and the perception government is not fully prepared to meet the logistics under the law involving faculty and staff, facilities and equipment, and learning materials.

“We do agree that there are difficulties… but despite that… the impact of K to 12 on our youth are so great that we should do it despite all these challenges. We should deal with these challenges instead of delaying the implementation of the program,” said Dr. Chito Salazar of PBED.

“The government should do something. The solution is not throwing out K to 12 but finding solution. There is still time,” he added.

PBED called on the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to clearly outline the criteria for unemployment over the diminution benefits of the affected education personnel and devise packages supporting the development of post-secondary institutions during the transition period.

It asked the Department of Labor and Employment to facilitate the redeployment of affected education personnel and to investigate reports of labor abuses being committed during the transition period.

PBED urged the Department of Education to expedite the preparations for the implementation of the K to 12 law and to provide regular, updated reports to concerned sectors and to the public.

PBED counts as members the Makati Business Club, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and the Management Association of the Philippines. (MNS)

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