A group of parents, teachers and students of Manila Science High School has prodded the Supreme Court anew to look into the merits of their petition questioning the constitutionality of the K-12 program of the Department of Education.
In their fourth motion seeking immediate resolution of their appeal for a temporary restraining order, the petitioners through their lawyer Severo Brillantes also urged the high court to set for oral arguments their petition and motions and to include in its agenda their appeal during its en banc session today.
The petitioners lamented the tribunal’s seemingly lack of interest to resolve their petition considering that it merely noted its motions asking for the immediate issuance of a TRO against K-12.
“While they were fully aware that the issuance of a TRO rests on the sound discretion of the Honorable Court, there was absolutely no more reason for the Honorable Court not to act on their said motion, considering that respondents have already been heard on their petition through their comment and they have already complied with the Order of the Honorable Court to file a reply thereto,” petitioners said.
“They were expecting that at the very least, their 3rd Most Urgent Motion for Issuance of a TRO will be included in the agenda of the Honorable Court’s remaining En Banc sessions last December 2015 and be deemed submitted for Resolution. They subsequently sadly learned, however, that it was only last January 12, 2016 that it was heard by the Supreme Court En Banc,” Brillantes added.
The petitioners stressed that there is an “extreme urgency” for the high court to resolve the petition since colleges and universities are already conducting their entrance tests.
“They respectfully wish to call the attention of the Honorable Court that since the school year is about to end, if it still does not resolve their prayer for a TRO, the Grade Ten Students among them, will suffer the grave injustice and irreparable injury of not being admitted to college next school year, despite the utmost merit of their said motion for a TRO, thereby rendering ineffectual the judgment and reliefs they are praying for in their instant petition,” the petitioners’ lawyer said.
The petitioners asked the Court to declare as unconstitutional the additional two years of senior high school under Republic Act No. 10533 (The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013) and DepEd Order No. 31, 2012, which provide for the implementation of K-12 Basic Education Curriculum and Senior High School.
Brillantes said DepEd Order No. 31 was issued without legal authority considering that Congress was still deliberating the law on the matter at that time.
The petitioners also assailed the lack of consultation with parents and teachers prior to the issuance of the order.
“The law fails to consider that there are other causes of lower educational outcomes, like poverty, lack of good teachers, classrooms and books,” the petitioners said.
Other groups that have filed a petition seeking to scrap the K-12 programs were the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio; Bayan Muna Partylist Representatives Neri Colminares and Carlos Zarate; Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap; Gabriela Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus and Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon.