ASEAN WOMEN’S NETWORK (PHILIPPINES) FORUM on K+12: A synthesis

Avelino S. Caraan, Jr.

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .”

 

This is how the prolific writer Charles Dickens started his great novel, Tale of the Two Cities.

 

This is the best of time when promises and beauties of K+12 have been known and loved. It is also the worst of time when the pitfalls and beasts of the same have also surfaced.

 

In attaining quality education for all, it is indeed a long, winding road. The government has already put in place a roadmap for it through K+12 curriculum.

 

The issue of K+12 curriculum has polarized the nation. Between and among teachers, teachers’ organizations, public and private sectors, there is an apparent division of the house, a clear social stratification.

 

Dr. San Juan emphasized the need for high investment on human resources primarily for the teachers. This accordingly would fuel up all efforts towards quality education.

 

Also, a vast horrible and unaddressed impoverished working condition and appalling learning environment is underscored.

 

            He added that education voucher system should be reviewed again. Reports have been exposed that this does not serve the purpose of providing quality education. Instead, it just widens the gap between those who have and who have nots.

 

            Meanwhile, Dr. Jovellanos, like a military strategist, amplified mandates and guidelines of RA 10533 in view of empowering teachers to safeguard their own working condition and secure tenure. He alluded to all mechanisms made available that the school, the teachers’ unions and teachers could explore whenever K+12 curriculum will be in full swing by SY 2016-beyond.

 

The National Government has to work hand in hand with the most vulnerable stakeholders – the Filipino learners, parents, and community with full honesty, integrity, and commitment to lift up the destitute state of ours.

 

In here, teachers’ unions are in the forefront of protecting the teachers and non-teaching personnel either from unemployment or underemployment. It must be a valiant Hercules to fight the giant Antaneus which represents all the adverse effects of RA 10533.

 

No matter where side of the wrestling arena you will be, no matter soft or hard your lines are, remember that it is the best of time, it is the worst of time. Educating ourselves is the most practical thing that we can do. Strengthening our ranks is the soundest endeavor for me and you.   

 

ONE CRYSTAL MESSAGE: With or without K+12, the right to education and right to security of tenure should never be compromised!

 

Through this forum, truly, ASEAN Women’s Network Philippines has done its part in making the blinds see, mutes speak, and deafs hear.