By NIÑO OCONER
VIGAN CITY – Youth groups led by Kabataan Partylist Ilocos greeted the first day of classes today with protests against the implementation of the K12 program in education.
Formations of Kabataan Partylist in Ilocos and Pangasinan held protest actions and signature campaigns as the gates of schools opened.
The youth group also portrayed student carrying a very large boulder with “K12” engraved on it to show the huge economic burden the K12 program bares on Filipino families.
“K12 is just another huge burden to the Filipino people. It will only push students and their parents deeper into the “quick sand” of poverty” as K12 will just make tuition rates and other school expenses, skyrocket,” said Renz Kang, Kabataan Partylist Ilocos Regional Coordinator.
The youth leader also pointed out that data from DepEd, says that only 800,000 to 1.1M of the 2M incoming Senior High School (SHS) students can be accommodated by the public schools in the country. The remaining 800,000 to 1M students will be forced to go to private schools through P12.2B “DepEd voucher” or just simply drop-out.
“DepEd can’t accept the truthful facts that this K12 program will only force thousands up to a million students to drop-out. It is now evident in the low number of SHS enrollees and the desperate “child-finding” activities of DepEd to encourage students to enroll in the additional grade 11 and 12,” Kang said.
According to the reports, DepEd outgoing Secretary Armin Luistro divulged that 1/3 or about 500,000 students only enrolled in Grade 11. This is equivalent to only a third of the estimated 1.5M enrollees of Grade 11.
“DepEd is too presumptuous to say that vouchers and subsidies worth P11,000 to P22,000 can settle this economic burden placed on the students and parents. We can not understand why DepEd always fails to see that tuition and other school fees in private senior high schools cost is P30,000 upward. Meaning, students who availed of this voucher will still have to shell out more money because this voucher and so-called subsidy is not enough,” the youth leader added.
Meanwhile, the youth group also reiterated its call to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop this K12 program immediately. The group warned the president-elect that continuing K12 is like tolerating crime since many of the students come from poor families is expected to drop-out because of the high cost of the said program.
“We reiterate our call to President Duterte. Stop this anti-people and anti-youth education program. We believe that as a President promising change is coming, Duterte cannot and should not allow millions of students to get pushed out of the education system just because they can not pay the high cost of tuition and other school fees. We believe that this is not the change hoped for by the people who voted for him,” Kang said.
The youth leader said that the activity in the opening of classes is only the beginning of a series of protest actions against the implementation of K12 program. # nordis.net