People’s voices shut out: Educators hit SC rejection of petitions vs K-to-12

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#BeyondElections2016 | Progressive teachers’ network Education Forum for Development (EfD) said that the Supreme Court ‘s (SC) rejection of petitions to stop the K-to-12 education program is a disservice to Filipinos. The high court turned a deaf ear on the people’s mounting opposition to the program’s ill impacts, said the group.

The SC recently dismissed pleas for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of the Department of Education’s controversial K-to-12 program. K-to-12 adds two years to the country’s secondary education system. The junked petitions consolidated into one appeal included those by the Council for Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (CoTeSCUP), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party List Rep. Antonio Tinio and other progressive Party List solons.

According to EfD, the SC effectively dismissed the chance of having the voice of students, teachers, parents and other sectors heard, which could have given a clearer sense of why the K-to-12 is loaded with deficiencies.

For instance, because many public schools still have no facilities and teachers for senior high school, students will be forced to either enroll in expensive private schools or discontinue their studies. Moreover, with additional high school years to commence this year, tens of thousands of first year college professors stand to lose their jobs.

The greatest setbacks with the SC dismissal is its long-term impact on education and its role in national development, said EfD. K-to-12 sets aside the goal of the education system to serve the national economy. Instead, the program prepares students to be “job-ready” with technical-vocational subjects. It feeds government’s neoliberal campaign to deploy Filipinos into low-paying jobs either abroad or in the big foreign and local corporation-dominated services industry here, said the group.

With the SC shutting the door,  legal avenues to ensure all voices are heard in a critically important area as curriculum reform are also shut down. Education groups, together with other members of the social movements, are expected to continue the debate and campaign against K-to-12 and genuinely significant education reforms, EfD said.#

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