The K-12 basic education program is necessary for the development of the Philippines’ education system, however, the country is not yet ready, senatorial candidates Roman Romulo and Susan “Toots” Ople told the University of Santo Tomas (UST) students in a forum on March 1.
Romulo, who is on his third term as the Pasig City representative, said the implementation of the K-12 curriculum should have been suspended because the Department of Education (DepEd) is not fully prepared.
“The K-12 is a good concept, unfortunately, hindi preparado and DepEd para sa implementation nito ngayong taon. May lack of classrooms, facilities, equipment and teachers,” Romulo said, adding that his platforms revolve around the promotion of quality education in the country.
Romulo authored the Unified Financial Assistance To Students in Tertiary Education or the UNIFAST Law, which offered free college education to students who are financially unfortunate, and the Scholar ng Bayan Law, which gave the top ten graduates of public high schools free college education.
Ople, who is running under the Nacionalista Party, said there are still gaps that need to be filled to efficiently implement the K-12 system.
“The K-12 is necessary for the improvement of education here in the country, but there are still gaps. Madami pa tayong kulang,” Ople said.
Ople explained that there is a need to hold campaigns about what the K-12 system really is for the masses to get a good grasp of the system.
Opele’s main advocacies are however centered on the promotion of the rights of the Overseas Filipino Workers.
The former labor undersecretary’s platforms include the establishment of a department for migration and development, the construction of hospitals for OFWs, and the development assistance programs for human trafficking survivors.
Ople, daughter of the late senator Blas Ople, tried but failed to secure a seat in the senate ion the 2010 elections.
Department of Justice secretary Leila De Lima and Former senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, who were also invited to the forum and are gunning for senatorial seats, failed to make an appearance.
De Lima and Gordon were voted first and second respectively by UST students in a survey conducted by the Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST.
In response to the clamor of the students, the two candidates pledged to solve the country’s drawbacks on slow Internet services.
“Dapat maging part ng learning investment at education plan ang free and accessible Wi-Fi in all schools. It will make us competitive lalo na at dito magaling ang ating mga kabataan,” Ople said. “Creative ang minds ng youth. Technology will be their competitive edge.”
Romulo added that the Internet is the advantage of today’s generation and making it accessible would be beneficial to students.
Jan Dominic Castro, Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) president said the forum was an opportunity for the youth to be enlightened about the platforms of the senatorial candidates especially issues concerning education.
“In the Liberal Arts college, we want to know how they’ll be able to sustain and promote quality education and avoid education disparity,” Castro said in a text message.
In celebration of the 120th founding anniversary of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, the forum titled “I AM: Senatorial Forum 2016”, was spearheaded by the ABSC, in partnership with the UP College of Arts and Letters Student Council and the De La Salle University Arts College Government. ###