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Arroyo wants K-to-12 replaced with post-secondary studies

Former President and Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Arroyo of has filed a bill replacing the K-to-12 basic education program to "K+10+2" which would remove the two-year senior high school years for 2 years of post secondary or pre-university education in preparation for professional degree studies.

In her explanatory note on her proposed House Bill 7893, Arroyo said that the K-to-12 system has not met its goal of making senior high school (SHS) graduates employable since the measure was signed into law back in 2013.

“Grades 11 and 12 were added to the country’s basic education program [in addition to four years in high school] on the assumption that with the two additional years, SHS graduates should be able to immediately get a job, or put up their own business should they choose not to pursue college,” Arroyo said.

"Unfortunately, the reality of the market seems to be that the private sector continues to prefer hiring college or university graduates over those who finish the K-to-12 program," she added.

Arroyo explained that House Bill 7893 "seeks to replace the present K to 12 education program in the country covering kindergarten and 12 years of education with a K + 10 + 2 program covering compulsory Kindergarten and 10 years of basic education with, for those seeking to proceed to professional degree studies such as accounting, engineering, law, and medicine, an additional two years of post-secondary, pre-university education.”

She cited the December 2020 study by the state-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) which revealed that only one in five senior high school graduates enter the labor force, with the rest opting to continue with their education.

In addition, Arroyo said a 2022 Pulse Asia survey showed that 44% of Filipinos said they were dissatisfied with the K to 12 (K-12)  system.

“The failure of the K to 12 program to provide its graduates with promised advantages exacerbates the additional burden on  parents and students imposed by two additional years of basic education. In a country like the Philippines where the poverty incidence is 18%, there should be an option for the young to graduate from basic education soonest, after four years of high school, so that they can help their parents in their farms or micro-businesses,” Arroyo said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News