Gatchalian urges DepEd to expedite internal review of K to 12 program

Published November 13, 2018, 12:26 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Mario Casayuran

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian urged on Tuesday the Department of Education (DepEd) to expedite its internal review of the K to 12 program amid continuing reports of low employment rates for graduates since the program started two years ago.

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate economic affairs committee, stressed that the review of the K to 12 curriculum is important to boost the employability of graduates.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced in July that the department would conduct a “thorough review” of the K to 12 curriculum after two years of implementation.

Director Jocelyn Andaya of the Bureau of Curriculum Development said the review is still ongoing, with initial results expected around February next year.

“Dahil nga ang hangarin ng K to 12 ay mas madaling makakuha ng trabaho ang mga graduates nito, kailangan natin i-adjust ‘yong curriculum to prepare graduates for success based on the current and future needs of the labor market,” he said. (Since the rationale for the K to 12 program is to give easier job opportunities to graduates, there is a need to adjust the curriculum to prepare graduates…)

Gatchalian supported the review, saying the program should be “in sync with the changing times.”

“I hope the review would be finished as soon as possible to give adequate time to adjust the curriculum for next school year,” he added.

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on education reform which has been tasked to conduct a comprehensive review of the Philippine education system, said he is eyeing the possibility of conducting an inquiry on the low employment rates of K to 12 graduates.

“We need to hear straight from the top Philippine employers themselves kung bakit sila hesistant na mag-hire ng K to 12 graduates,” Gatchalian said.(..why they are hesitant in hiring K to 12 graduates.)

A survey conducted by Jobstreet Philippines in April found that only 24 percent of Philippine employers are willing to hire fresh graduates of the K to 12 program.

An earlier survey, conducted by nonprofit organization Philippine Business for Education (PBE), revealed that three out of every five companies are open to hiring K to 12 graduates, but only one in five are ready to do so.

Gatchalian was designated as subcommittee chairman by Senate committee on education, arts, and culture chairman Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero as chairperson of the Senate subcommittee on education reform in September.

As subcommittee chairman, Gatchalian said he is allowed to conduct hearings and sponsor and defend committee reports in the plenary session, among others.