I have read in The Philippine Daily Inquirer that President Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 last May 15, 2013. The law aims to make up for the shortcomings of the Philippines’ 10 year basic education cycle by adding three more years in the curriculum. (follow this link: What is k+12? https://macristinadelosreyes.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/what-is-k12 )
As a parent, I foresee additional financial burden as a corollary of this K-12 program. At first, I was not convinced with Pres. Aquino’s aim of providing students ample time to acquire knowledge and skills. I believe that the K-12 program only solves issues on quantity but not on the quality of education. So I did my personal research on the issue even before the law was enacted.
I came across the writings of Former Education USEC Isagani Cruz. According to the article, CHED was rushing to push through with the K-12 reform in order to prepare for the 2015 opening of borders by 10 ASEAN countries. The Philippines is also preparing to join the 2020 APEC Trade Regime. These moves by our ASEAN neighbors mean that they will be opening their doors to foreign professionals for as long as these people meet the requirements of the accord set by the participating countries. There will be a mutual recognition of qualifications and degrees. A Filipino nurse for example, who passed all the professional requirements in the Philippines will no longer undergo redundant trainings and professional exams abroad. His degree in his homeland will be automatically recognized as long as he earned the number of education years required in the accord.
Our government has now started solving issues on the quantity of education. Sooner or later, problems regarding quality may also be addressed. K-12 may allow us to benefit from several accords on mutual recognition of decrees set up by other countries. (An example of this is the Washington Accord, 1989. It is an agreement among countries that allows a professional engineer to practice in another country as long as he meets the education requirement of 16 years.) This is the reason why there is a pressure on our Education Sector to align our education system with those of our neighboring countries.
If everything will work according to plan, our country will be able to send not only the less-skilled OFWs but also professionals who will generate more income. This will be a big help to our economy. Even our policy makers admit that we make use of our human resources to generate dollar reserves. Perhaps, this exploitation of our labor force is inevitable since we all want to save our ailing economy. Besides, Filipinos themselves, choose to work abroad for the betterment of their own families. I am not saying that the exodus of our skilled Filipinos is right. However, I cannot blame parents whose primary concern is to alleviate the hunger of their loved ones.
Isagani Cruz, “Education Reforms in thePhilippines”