OFWs decry added cost to K+12 education
A GROUP of migrants and families Migrante International today decried the added cost OFW parents will shoulder in light of the implementation of the K+12 educational system.
According to Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante, OFWs will be bear the brunt of the added cost on top of continuous price hikes of basic commodities amidst the depreciating dollar.
“Hindi na nga napagkakasya ang buwanang remittance, dadagdagan pa ang pahirap sa mga OFW dahil sa dagdag-taon sa elementary at high school.”
He added that while basic education is free, studies show that a student would still need an average of P20,000 per school year to cover transportation, food, school supplies and other school requirements. The migrant leader said that OFW remittances usually cover basic needs such as food, house rentals or amortizations, utilities and other monthly expenses.
Based on the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), families prioritize spending for food and other basic necessities. “An additional two years more of education will be an added burden to OFWs. Ang pang-tuition sa mga anak ay ipinangungutang pagdating ng enrollment, o di kaya naman kailangang magdoble o triple ng trabaho para mabayaran.”
Martinez also protested the “real motive behind the K+12 education system which is the further intensification of labor export, this time systematically targeting the country’s young labor force.”
The Department of Education says that the K+12 system “will improve chances of youth employment” and that it will ensure that 18-year-old graduates will be “employable even without a college degree.”
“What the K+12 system will do is reinforce cheap semi-skilled youth labor for the global market. The DepEd talks of a so-called ‘professionalization’ of the young labor force mainly in labor markets abroad but unfortunately continues to ignore the very causes of forced migration, namely, lack of local jobs, low wages and landlessness,” said Martinez.
He said that the K+12 system sadly undermines the youth’s very significant role in nation-building because it is geared towards providing cheap semi-skilled and unskilled youth labor to the global market instead of for domestic development.
“Young workers, mostly semi-skilled and unskilled, make up approximately 10.7 percent of the total Filipino labor migrant population. Through the K+12, the government will further program our youth not to serve the country but to service the needs of the neoliberal global market,” said Martinez.