Almost half of Filipinos are dissatisfied with the K-12 program, said Senator Win Gatchalian, who commissioned Pulse Asia to measure public satisfaction over the program’s implementation.
With 1,200 respondent-families nationwide, Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said 47 percent of Filipinos are not satisfied with K-12, 38 percent are satisfied, and 13 percent are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Among those who expressed dissatisfaction with the program, 78 percent said that K-12 was an added cost and 40 percent said a high school diploma was not enough in getting a better job.
The survey results also showed that 40 percent feared that two more years of high school would increase the drop-out rate and 39 percent cited the need for more classrooms and teachers.
Thirty-one percent said they would opt to have a better education rather than just having more education.
They also cited that students could not work immediately or help their parents at once because of the additional two years in school.
Furthermore, they said the survey showed that companies preferred those who have finished college more than those who have only finished high school.
When the K-12 program was enacted into law in 2013, it promised better employability for graduates of the senior high school program.
A 2018 survey by online portal JobStreet revealed, however, that out of 500 companies, only 24 percent were willing to hire K-12 graduates.
According to Gatchalian, the fastest way to improve the K-12 program was to decongest the curriculum.
He said the curriculum currently required too many competencies, teachers and students found themselves having less time to teach and absorb the lessons.
It also prevented students from having sufficient competence in Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, which leads to the continued presence of non-readers in higher grades.
Teachers’ readiness should also be given more focus, Gatchalian said, noting that teachers were not adequately equipped with the expertise required in teaching K-12 competencies.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the availability of quality and updated learning materials such as textbooks, Gatchalian added.
Gatchalian recently filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the implementation of the K-12 program.
The inquiry’s findings are expected to guide policy recommendations and complementary legislation to ensure that the program meets its objectives.