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Marcos: K-12 program under careful review

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday said a careful review is already underway as regards the implementation of the K-12 program of the Department of Education.

"There have also been lengthy discussions on the continuation and viability of the K-12 school system. We are giving this a careful review, and all necessary inputs and points of view are now being considered," Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

Regarding his administration's long term plan for education, the President said a program for refresher courses and re-trainings of teachers will be instituted to keep them abreast of the rapid growth in technology in the post-pandemic world.

"As for the ‘horror’ stories that we have heard about the poor quality of educational materials and supplies that are being given to our schools — this must end!" he said.

"Ang edukasyon ay ang tangi nating pamana sa ating mga anak na hindi nawawaldas. Kaya anumang gastusin sa kanilang pag-aaral ay hindi tayo magtitipid. Hindi rin tayo magtatapon," Marcos added.

He reiterated that he is not referring to a "rethinking" of history or the subjects being taught, but the materials being used for effective teaching.

Marcos said children now need connectivity to the internet, as well as computers and educational tools for them to participate fully in the digital community in the country and abroad.

He also stressed the need for the country to do better in the international rankings, especially in the so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Marcos previously ordered a review on the implementation of the K-12 program, according to Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

He has also agreed to proposals to review the country's education curriculum to address job mismatch.

Return of F2F classes

In the same speech, Marcos bared that Duterte is now preparing for the implementation of the full face-to-face classes in the upcoming school year, but with "utmost consideration" for the safety of students amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"In the educational sector, I believe it is time for our children to return to full face-to-face classes once again," he said.

"We must ensure that our classrooms are safe for teachers, for students, and the entire academic community when they return to face-to-face classes. We continue to encourage everyone to get their booster shots in preparation for the resumption of in-person classes," Marcos added.

English as medium of instruction

Marcos also called for a review of English as the country's medium of instruction in order for Filipinos to maintain the advantage of being known as English-speaking people.

"Foreign employers have always favored Filipino employees because of our command of the English language. This is an advantage that we must continue to enjoy," he said in his speech.

"Therefore, the issue of what is the medium of instruction in our schools must be closely examined," Marcos added.

He pointed out that the internet has become the "global marketplace" not only for goods and services but also ideas and personal interactions, with English as its language.

"Therefore, the question of our medium of instruction must be continuously re-examined to maintain that advantage that we have established as an English-speaking people," he said.—AOL, GMA News