By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) denied that it was calling for a stop to the implementation of the K to 12 Program, and clarified that the commission was only “reviewing and changing” the system for its K to 12 Transition Program.
“Nililinaw ko po na ang aking pahayag ay tungkol sa K-12 Transition Fund (I wish to clarify that my statement was about the K -12 Transition Fund),” CHED Chairperson J. Prospero De Vera III said. “Iba po ang K-12 program na ini-implement ng DepEd [Department of Education] at hindi ko po sinasabing dapat itigil ito (The K to 12 program implemented by DepEd is different and I never said that this should be stopped),” he added.
Earlier, the Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago filed a House resolution, urging the current administration to stop and review the K to 12 program. She claimed that CHED “admitted” defects in the program.
However, De Vera III told the Manila Bulletin that the Kabataan Partylist “twisted” his earlier statement pertaining to the “defective system” of the CHED’s K to 12 Transition Program, particularly in the processes for scholarships and other grants, and not the K to 12 Program implemented by DepEd.
The K to 12 funds, de Vera explained, is the budget allocated to the Commission, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the DepEd for faculty at higher education institutions (HEIs) to be used during the “transition period” following the implementation of the K to 12 program.
It can be recalled that when the Senior High School (SHS) program of the K to 12 program was rolled-out nationwide in 2016, there were no freshmen students in the tertiary level since they needed to complete Grades 11 and 12 or the SHS first before they can go to college – especially for those who took the Academic Track.
The lack for enrollees displaced several faculty members in some HEIs.
To help mitigate this, CHED initiated K to 12 Transition Program which is a five-year effort aimed at the strategic development of HEIs and personnel during the transition period from 2016 to 2021.
The Program includes a range of programs to support faculty and staff through scholarships for master’s and doctoral programs, non-degree programs, as well as institutional grants for HEIs.
However, CHED – under de Vera’s leadership – found out the system or mode of implementation used in the K to 12 Transition Program was “defective.” Thus, he directed the management unit of the K to 12 Transition Program to be abolished to pave the way for review and changes in the implementation of the projects under the said program.
In a Manila Bulletin exclusive, CHED officials earlier confirmed that the Commission has decided to “review and change” the approval process of projects under the K to 12 Transition Program due to a “defective” system.
“The review and changes have been going on for a year and we are doing this consistent with the marching orders of PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] to ensure accountability in the use of public funds,” De Vera said.
De Vera III explained that the programs under the K to 12 Transition Project Management Unit (TPMU) have been transferred to its Office of Planning, Research, and Knowledge Management (OPKRM) and other organic offices. OPKRM Director Nelson Cainghog also confirmed that management unit of the K to 12 Transition program no longer exists but the program itself still exists.