CEAP to lose billions of pesos under the K12 program

LAWMAKERS have called for a congressional inquiry to determine if there is truth to the pronouncement of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) that losses will be incurred by private schools once the K to 12 program is fully implemented.

Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), authors of House Resolution 2808, urged the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture to invite during the inquiry the officials of CEAP and Department of Education (DepEd) to shed light on the matter.

Rodriguez said Congress should find ways to help private schools improve the quality of graduates and give them better opportunities to succeed.

“While the DepEd sees the K to 12 program as a new development in the educational system, CEAP is expecting losses in billions of pesos once the program is fully implemented,” Rodriguez said.

“The private schools are afraid that they will lose million of pesos since there will be no enrolment in their collegiate courses in two years because high schools were extended for another two years,” Rodriguez added.

Earlier, Fr. Gregg Banaga, CEAP President, said the only way to address the losses of the private schools in the implementation of the K to 12 program is through the private-public partnership with DepEd.

Banaga urged the government to increase the subsidy under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) and to subsidize more students in private high schools under the Education Service Contracting provision in GASTPE.

“Instead of building more public schools, why don’t they (DepEd) just bring students from the public schools to occupy the seats in the private schools,” Banaga said.

Rodriguez said the K-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.

“The adoption of the program is in response to the need to improve the competitiveness of our country’s graduates as the ten-year basic education cycle is seen as inadequate for work and higher education with some Filipino workers not automatically recognized as professionals in other countries,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said under the K to 12 program, kindergarten has now been integrated into the basic education system to ensure that all grade 1 students are ready for academic learning.

Rodriguez said the mother tongue will be the medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade 3 with English and Filipino being the medium of instruction starting at grade 4.

He said the core academic areas include Math, Filipino, English, Araling Panlipunan, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao, and Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH).

“Technology and Livelihood Education and technical-vocational specializations, consistent with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority training regulations will start in grade 7,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the additional two years in high school will allow students to choose among academic, technical-vocational, or sports and arts tracks depending on their interest, the community needs, and the results of their skills assessment.

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