Anakbayan: "K to 12 is a human rights violation"

Anakbayan: "K to 12 is a human rights violation"

Article XIV Sec. 1 of the Philippine Constitution states, “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” But Anakbayan and ACT Teachers Partylist fear K to 12 will violate this basic human right.

The implementation of K to 12 will violate the basic human right to education. This according to Luke Bagangan, Secretary General of Anakbayan Cordillera.

Bagangan revealed that in Baguio City, only 8 public schools will offer senior high school, aggravating the fear that the K to 12 program will increase the dropout rate in the city.

“Compared to almost 40 profit-oriented private high schools, only 8 public schools will be offering senior high school in Baguio. Once students are rejected by their public schools, they have no choice but to drop out of school or be burdened by the rising cost of education in private high schools,” said Bagangan.

Bagangan cited that even Baguio City National High School (BCNHS), the biggest public high school in the city, will not be able to accommodate all their grade 10 students for their senior high school.

“The principal of BCNHS already admitted that two out of five students of grade 10 will not be accommodated by the school’s senior high school program. If this is already the premier public high school in the city what more can we expect from smaller public high schools[?]” the youth leader asked.

Read: How to Cope with K-12: 7 Tipid Tips for Pinay Moms

Anakbayan, Kabataan Partylist and ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) Teachers Partylist led a protest action at the Supreme Court in Baguio to condemn the SC’s failure to grant a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the K to 12 program.

The protesters stormed the gates of the SC compound with ladles and empty cooking pots as they conducted a noise barrage. Justices of the high court are currently conducting an en banc session in the city.

“With this noise barrage, we want to bring to the attention of those justices inside this office [to the fact] that people, especially students, teachers and parents, are disgusted with their decision allowing the implementation of K to 12,” said Bagangan.

The SC had earlier denied several petitions, including those filed by the said groups, asking to temporarily stop the government's K to 12 program.

Read: Senior high school to eat up 39% of the daily income of Pinoy families

“We are opposed to their ruling because this gravely violates the constitution that they are mandated to uphold. The constitution clearly states that education is a right but people will surely fail to enjoy this right once K to 12 is fully implemented,” said Bagangan.

Government subsidy

With only a handful of public schools actually ready for the K to 12 program, the Department of Education (DepEd) estimates that there will be between 1.2 to 1.6 million incoming senior high school students, of which between 800,000 to one million will not be accommodated by the public school system. Students will, therefore, have no choice but to enrol in private schools or drop out completely.

As such, the DepEd has assured parents that a voucher subsidy amounting from PhP 8,750 to PhP 22,500 will be allotted to students who will choose to enrol in private schools. Parents, however, will have to shoulder all other school fees exceeding the voucher amount. There are currently two million 4th year high school students in public schools.

Article XIV Sec. 1 of the Philippine Constitution states, “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.”

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