Ilocos youth in postering protest against K12 program


VIGAN CITY — The Ilocos region formations of Kabataan Partylist and Anakbayan lead the campaign to raise education issues the region faces. With the opening of classes of both the secondary and tertiary schools last June 13, the youth groups criticized the unpreparedness of the launching of the K12 program as well as the negative impacts on the education sector in the long run.

STOP K12!  Photo courtesy of Anakbayan-Ilocos
STOP K12! Photo courtesy of Anakbayan-Ilocos

The postering activity started on July 18 and ended on July 22 as a buildup campaign to mark a youth activity on July 24 in preparation for Duterte’s State of the Nation Address the next day. It targets to inform parents, students, teachers, and the whole education community as a whole on the negative impacts of the K12 program.

It targeted the big schools in the different cities in the Ilocos region which are primarily affected by the program. Alongside with the members of the organizations who continue to gather more signatures in the region for a petition to be filed as a protest to the K12 program at the office of president Duterte and at the Department of Education.

According to the Kabataan Partylist Ilocos Coordinator Florence Kang, the K12 program further deteriorates the quality as well as the accessibility of education in the country. The average cost of tuition fees for the Senior High School among the State Universities is ₱16,000 while it is more than ₱22,000 among the private schools.

“The Ilocos Region, which is home to many families in the marginalized sectors, they would further be affected by this program as an additional burden to having to cope with the effects of anti-poor economic policies, corruption, and failed programs of the past administrations. The problem arises from while the education budget remains as low as the quality of education it offers, it further worsens when the program has lengthened the years of schooling and fees also continue to skyrocket.”, Kang stated.

Despite the K12 program being the flagship program of the Aquino administration in education when the funds for the construction of the added classrooms for public schools to accommodate the added enrollees into the K12 program was investigated, it showed that these funds were released very late. This caused the shortage of classrooms for the incoming Grade 11. The shortage of teachers, books, and even modules have also been noted to be insufficient.

“We must call for an immediate stop to the K12 program. The lack of preparedness and planning puts the burden primarily on the teachers and students who must adapt to the shortages in the implementation of the program.

Even before the K12 program started, these shortages were already evident. This caused more dropouts in the secondary level as well as discourages more students to enter tertiary level. The program only creates semi-skilled workers for low wage jobs for foreign owned corporations disregarding the needs in nation building and cause a brain drain with direct impact on nation building”.

The postering as well a following series of activities aims to create a snowball effect on continued activities to widen and solidify the support for the campaign against K12 program as well as other neoliberal attacks on the education sector. #


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