by Vincent Carlo Cuzon

Sabi nga namin, basic education has a basic problem, which requires a basic solution. Ang problema (ay) nagkaroon sila ng complicated solution. Nagpalit sila ng curriculum. Ang problema lang natin ay libro [classrooms, etc]; pinalitan nila ang buong curriculum. Lumala ang problema. (As we say, basic education has a basic problem, which requires basic solution. The problem is that they had a complicated solution. They changed the curriculum. Our problems are only books [classrooms, etc.]; yet they changed the whole curriculum. They aggravated the problem.)”

Mr. Boboy Ayque, a teacher and the Union Board and Negotiation Panelist of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – National Capital Region, explained about K to 12 last May 23, 2015, during a caucus entitled VOICES FROM THE GROUND: Discussion on K to 12 at the ACT Office, Habana Compound, Davao City.

The caucus was through the effort of the various groups in the Southern Mindanao Region calling the suspension of the K to 12 Program. The caucus aimed to show how the Department of Education has ventured into a program that complicates the age-old yet simple problems of the country’s education system. The caucus progressed starting from the allocation of funds from the national government, lack of textbooks and basic facilities, the quality of education, the additional burden to parents in K to 12 system, the upcoming increase in Out-Of-School-Youth once the K to 12 is implemented, and the step of the government to produce cheap labor instead of creating industries to effect inclusive growth in the country.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers- Davao Region, one of the organizers of the caucus, later distributed a special issue of Chalk Talk – The Official Newsletter of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Davao Region, which elaborates the ‘10 reasons why the K to 12 Program must be suspended.’

The caucus was organized by People’s Council for Unity, Reform, and Peace – SMR, League of Filipino Students, and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers – SMR.