|29 May 2015|
|President Aquino: Country is ready for implementation of K to 12 program|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday declared that the country is ready for the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, an educational system used worldwide.The K to 12 program, which adds two years to the present 10-year basic education program, has been widely criticized but the President believes that under it, students will learn more and enhance their skills.
“Sa kabila po ng mga naisakatuparan nating mga inisyatiba, batid nating may ilan pa ring nagsasabing hindi po tayo handa. Ito po ang tugon natin sa kanila: Handa na tayo. Bunga ang K to 12 ng ilang taong pagpaplano’t masusing konsultasyon, kasama ang mga katuwang natin sa sektor ng edukasyon,” President Aquino said in his speech during the “Sa K to 12, Kayang-Kaya, Sama-Sama” event, held at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
An estimated crowd of 3,500, comprising of government officials, representatives of the private sector, parents and students, were present to witness the President affix his signature to the Commitment Wall, a symbolic act to celebrate the administration’s commitment to continuously improve the state of the country’s basic education sector.
“Layunin po ng K to 12 program na maglatag ng reporma sa kinalakihan nating 10-year basic education cycle. Para po mas madaling intindihin, isipin na lang natin ang mangga: Di po ba, mayroon tayong tinatawag na hinog sa pilit, at mayroon ding hinog sa natural?” said the President.
“Ang dating sasampung taon na basic education, puwede nating ituring na kinalburo—pinilit isiksik sa maikling panahon ang lahat ng kailangang matutuhan ng bata. Siguro nga po, sa ilang nakalipas na henerasyon, pupuwede pa ang sampung taon ng pag-aaral. Pero habang umuusad ang panahon, di po ba, mas malawak na ang kaalamang inaasahan sa bawat isa, at kailangan nating makasabay sa pagbabago?” he added.
He noted that the Philippines is the only country in Asia and one of only three countries in the world – the other two being Angola and Djibouti in Africa – with a 10-year basic education.
“May mga usapin nga po noon: Talagang madedehado ang graduates natin at baka hindi na raw kilalanin ang diploma ng mga Pilipino pagdating sa empleo o sa mas mataas na larangan sa ibang bansa. Mas pipiliin daw kasi nila ang graduates na dumaan sa 12 years na basic education; kung hindi naman, ire-require kang mag-aral pa para maging kuwalipikado sa kanilang pamantayan. At ‘yun po ay nagiging problema ng ating mga manggagawa,” he further said.
President Aquino said the people should look at the K to 12 program as a chance to improve the country’s educational system, instead of considering it a burden.
“Sa K to 12, pinaiigting ang pagtuturo ng mga batayang kaalaman sa elementarya at junior high school; at sa senior high school, makakapili ng specialized tracks para sa akademya, sa technical and vocational education, pati na sa sports and arts. Sa pamamagitan nito, sinisiguro nating may sapat na dunong na ang ating mga kabataan pagka-graduate ng high school upang mas maging produktibong bahagi ng lipunan,” he explained.
“Kaya naman ang panawagan po natin: Imbes na isiping pabigat ang karagdagang dalawang taon sa paaralan ng ating mga estudyante, ituring po natin itong pagkakataon upang higit nilang mapahusay ang sarili tungo sa pag-abot ng kanilang mga pangarap. Kung makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin taglay ang di-hamak na mas mataas na antas ng kaalaman, mas maaayos ding trabaho ang kanilang mapapasukan, na maghahatid sa kanila sa mas maginhawang buhay,” he added.
Also present at the event were Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Jose Villanueva, and National Youth Commission Commissioner Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III.
Those who gave testimonials on the importance of the K to 12 program were Arien Lein Ibardo, an incoming Grade 10 student at Dona Rosario High School in Quezon City; Rowen Dizon, a parent of a senior high school student in Pinyahan, Quezon City; Gina Obierna, a Grade 2 adviser at the Don Alejandro Roces Sr. Science Technology High School; and Love Basillote, executive director of the Philippine Business for Education, which is the business community’s response to the need for consensus and sustained advocacy in education reform.
The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education — six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School.
It aims to provide students sufficient time to master concepts and skills, and develop as lifelong learners, as well as to prepare them for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.
In Senior High School, students may choose among three career tracks — Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts — based on their aptitude, interests, and school capacity.
The choice of a career track will define the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. PND (jm)
|President Aquino to visit Japan next week|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III will embark on a four-day state visit to Japan from June 2 to 5 next week to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Minda Calaguian Cruz said on Friday.
Cruz said the two leaders are expected to talk about the enhancement of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, as well as exchange views on recent developments in the region.
“The visit is taking place in an auspicious time when we are to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries, and we will look at this visit as a very important visit,” she said.
Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will receive President Aquino at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for the welcome ceremony and a state call, Cruz said, adding that the Emperor and his wife will also host a state banquet in honor of the Philippine leader.
During this particular trip, President Aquino will for the first time deliver a speech at the National Diet, Tokyo’s bicameral legislature.
Cruz said this is a significant event because the Diet is considered as Japan’s highest state organ.“Speaking at the National Diet is a very good platform by which the President can also put forward what have been the developments in the Philippines over a period of time, and at the same time also, the linkages between both countries,” she said.
President Aquino will meet with members of the Japanese business community to highlight the recent economic gains of the Philippines and invite them to take advantage of more investment opportunities in the country.
He is also scheduled to speak at the special session of Nikkei’s Future of Asia Conference 2015. A meeting with the Filipino community, considered a staple event in his foreign trips, will be part of his official itinerary.
The upcoming trip to Japan will be President Aquino’s fifth, as he had previously been to Tokyo on official and working visits, but it will be his first in terms of a state visit at the invitation of the Japanese government. PND (hdc)
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