MANILA, Aug. 12 (PNA) — The country’s largest association of private elementary and secondary schools on Wednesday expressed their support to the proposal to add two more years in the current 10-year basic education cycle but warned the Department of Education (DepEd) against tinkering with the basic curriculum in the process.
At the same time, the Federation of Associations of Private Schools Administrators (FAPSA) appealed to the DepEd to allow private schools a year to implement the proposed plan after the public schools.
Eleazardo Kasilag, FAPSA president said a 12-year basic education system, which formed part of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III 10-Point Education Reform Agenda, in the country is long overdue.
“Where there is distress, there is a call. It is due decade ago, however, FAPSA schools appeal that we be given option to implement a year later after the public schools. For the private elementary, we have Nursery, Kinder I and Kinder II,” Kasilag said.
When asked for the reason for its appeal to be given additional time to implement the proposal among its member-schools, Kasilag said contrary to the popular belief that private schools are overflowing in resources, majority of members are in financial roughshod.
He added that some of their members have to seek credit just to bankroll the construction of new schools and other facilities as well as pay the salaries of teachers.
“We know in our hearts that private schools have beyond what is seen. We are rich in spirit, but ragged in goods for some FAPSA schools. Funds for new building, new teachers and facilities for the additional high school year have to be loaned,” he explained.
At the same time, Kasilag warned the DepEd it will lose the group’s backing if the plan, called by Education Secretary Armin Luistro as K+12 Enhanced Basic Education Program, will include another revision of the basic education curriculum.
He said that their stand is before DepEd maintain the current curriculum.
“Let it not be a reform of the curriculum again. The RBEC or the Revised Basic Education Curriculum is still in its infancy. It was thoroughly studied under seven DepEd secretaries and some of the best minds. Fapsa hopes that it is not a case of different strokes for different folks,” he added.
On Monday, Luistro said he wants “substantial” changes in the curriculum to address the problem of the dwindling number of graduates of the basic education system who enter and finish college and gain employment.
The DepEd chief said “irrelevant” subjects currently taught in schools nationwide would be dropped from the curriculum while new subjects would be incorporated to develop the technical and vocational skills of the students.
He said DepEd would coordinate with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) to determine what technical and vocational skills are in demand.
Luistro said an initial draft of the proposed 12-year education cycle would be released in time for the celebration of the World Teachers Day on October 5. (PNA)