MANILA – As classes in elementary and high school starts today, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino held school visits to raise public awareness on salient education woes and spur involvement to address perennial education problems.
“School opening are set with same-old problems—overcrowded classrooms, shortages in chairs, textbooks, and others school facilities,” said the youth solon.
According to the data from the Department of Education, our public schools lack 132,483 teachers, 97,685 classrooms, and 153,709 water and sanitation facilities this schoolyear due to insufficient funds provided by the Aquino administration.
The youth solon, who visited schools around Batasang Pambansa said that school officials have invented and implemented differently schemes to address classroom shortage that may terribly affect the learning of the students.
According to Palatino, in Batasan High School, 20% of the student population are enrolled in homestudy program wherein the students will only go to schools in saturday. Clearly, band-aid solutions are being invented to solve the shortages in classroom.
K-12 will compund existing problems
With the existing problems in the current 10-year education cycle, K-12 program will not solve the existing problems in the basic public education system in the country such as shortages, underfunding and access,“ said Palatino.
The Aquino government has been underspending on education. The Aquino Administration alloted P238.8 for DepEd for 2012. The budget is P300 billion short of the UN recommendation which is 6% of GDP.
Palatino also said that during the last congress committee hearing for the K12 program, the Department of Education said that it needs additional P100Billion for the implementation of the program. However, there was no clear commitment on the part of the budget department to fund the additional budget needed.
“There are no empirical studies which show that an additional 2 years will improve learning performance of students. Extending into a 12 year cycle will only extend same problems. The lack of qualified teachers, lack of resources, then extending the cycle might actually compound the problem,” ends Palatino.