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Challenges hound K-12; Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to be convened

Senator Win Gatchalian will convene a joint congressional oversight committee by January next year to review the K-12 program which, according to the lawmaker, is vital to ensure that it’s meeting its objectives to boost Filipinos’ competitiveness and readiness to join the workforce.


PASAY CITY, Philippines – A college undergraduate candidate marches along with a senior senior high school candidate for graduation (right) from Pateros Technological College at the PICC, 30 April 2018. Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture chairman Senator Win Gatchalian will meet with other lawmakers for an oversight inquiry to ensure that the K-12 program is meeting its objectives. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

“A joint congressional oversight review will align the efforts of both chambers of Congress to ensure that the K-12 meets the needs of both students and the private sector,” Gatchalian said.

“The K-12 program is a massive historical educational reform we introduced to produce quality of graduates that our country needs. While the program has gaps and challenges, we need to sustain it in a way that also addresses implementation issues to provide quality education and boost global competitiveness,” Gatchalian pointed out. He chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

Members of the House of Representatives are in a consensus that the K-12 program is “not living up to its promise” of producing employable senior high school (SHS) graduates and they note that among the biggest challenges of the K-12 program is the persisting inadequacy of equipment in schools.

“We need to come up with strategic solutions because industries will suffer and decline without a workforce equipped with the competencies required of the 21st century and Industry 4.0 (a new phase in the industrial revolution)”, Gatchalian added.

Gatchalian also said that the budget proposal for the K-12 program will be thoroughly reviewed at the Senate. In the House version of the 2020 budget transmitted to the Senate, P551.7 billion was allocated to the Department of Education (DepEd). The National Expenditure Program (NEP) originally allocated P550.89 to DepEd. The increase in the DepEd’s proposed budget is meant to help boost K-12’s implementation.

“As we work towards finalizing the 2020 budget, we will ensure that the program gets an allocation that responds to the needs of both students and teachers. We need to make parents and students feel that this program is helpful, not an added burden,” Gatchalian ended.