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Statement of the UP Manila University Student Council Against K+12 by the Aquino Administration

We welcome school year 2011-2012 with 103, 599 teachers, 152, 569 classrooms, 13, 225, 527 chairs and 95, 557, 887 textbooks lacking in our basic education sector according to the Department of Education (DepEd). From the United Nations Education, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 7, 931, 047 school-aged youths will not be able to enroll this year and only 20 percent of all students will be able to graduate and only half of them will be able to find a job. As the students, the youth and the Filipino people welcome the worsening education crisis, the Aquino administration implemented K+12 as its solution to our problems.

Department of Educations K+12 or the Enhanced 12 Year Basic Education Program is the newest education policy of President Aquino. In this program, all 5-year old Filipinos are required to enter kindergarten before entering Grade 1 and an additional two-year Senior High School will be added to the present 10-year curriculum of Elementary and Secondary education. In the new curriculum, technical and vocational subjects will be introduced to the students such as welding and machine operation.


Universal Kindergarten Despite the massive shortages in facilities and human resources for this year, the Aquino administration implemented the first phase of K+12 which is the Universal Kindergarten. Because of this policy, 2.6 million 5-year old youth will enter this years kindergarten. And because we lack the facilities and other resources to accommodate the implementation, DepEd issued an order that corridors, gyms and other spaces can be used as a make-shift room for kindergarten students. While UPM USC supports universalizing access to education, we believe the policys immediate implementation doesnt reflect the needs of the education sector. Without proper facilities and other resources, we cannot properly educate our youth. Aside from the shortage in physical resources, we also lack teachers who will educate these new students. The government does not have any plan in hiring regular teachers for kindergarten classes. Instead, more than 30, 000 contractual teachers will be hired by the government to implement the program. These contractual teachers will only receive 1, 500-3,000 pesos a month. We, in the UPM USC, condemns governments policy of hiring contractual teachers which is an attack not just to the profession of teaching but also to the peoples right to decent jobs. The meager salary that will be provided to the teachers is not just an insult to the teaching profession but also reflects that the education of our people is not the governments priority. 2 Years of Technical and Vocational Skills Training The Aquino administration is claiming that K+12 will serve as a solution to the worsening conditions of our education sector. According to him, K+12 will ensure that our high school graduates will be employable because their skills matched the demands of the global market. The Aquino administration believes that the additional two years will ensure that high school graduates are of proper age to be hired after graduation. It is true that most of our high school graduates that did not pursue college education do not have a job. According to the government data, half of the 2.7 million unemployed Filipinos are high-school & college-aged youths. From this, almost 30% are college graduates while 52% percent of these are high school graduates.

While the government is arguing that an additional two years will ensure employment for high school graduates, this can be countered by their own data that even college graduates do not have jobs. We, the UPM USC, believes that the real reason why we have a high unemployment rate, may it be high school graduates or even college graduates, is because our economy is not planned on creating jobs. The Aquino administration continues to support Arroyos labor export policy, giving high hopes to our fellow Filipinos that we should search for jobs outside of our country. In the eyes of the Aquino administration, developing our local economy or creating national industries will not answer our unemployment problems. For Aquino, the reason why most of our fellow Filipinos do not have jobs is because there is a mismatch between the jobs or skills of our graduates and the jobs or skills needed in other countries. And from this, the government sees K+12 as a solution. Subjects such as welding, machine operation, call center training, and workshops for computer and electronic technicians will be included in the curriculum. UPM USC condemns Aquinos support to labor export policy and plan to transform our schools into a factory of semi-skilled workers. It is the objective of K+12 to ensure that our basic education will directly serve the interests of foreign countries. We have a generation of youth believing that the most that they can do to help this country progress is to search for jobs abroad, and this is what the government is trying to perpetuate. Because the government has no plans in developing our local economy, our education sector is being directed to create workers to serve the needs of foreign markets and not to create professionals that will help develop our nation. We, in UPM USC, condemn such efforts by the Aquino government in perpetuating the colonial character of our education system. Instead of developing a curriculum that will serve our development, we have a government that is developing a system that will serve the interests of foreign countries. The US-Aquino Regime This is the over-all program of the US-Aquino regime in education that also reflects their over-all plan for our economy. It is the objective of the Aquino government to ensure that our economy as well as our education system will directly serve the foreign interests. We continue to depend on imports, grants and aids from foreign countries and our production to be export-oriented. Our economy being import-dependent and export-oriented ensures that the Philippines will serve the interests of our foreign masters, and at the same time, our education system is developing millions and millions of Filipino youth as workers and slaves of foreign maters. The Aquino administration is becoming subservient to the interests of imperialist United States and foreign capitalists while being blind to the needs of the majority of our people. We, in the UPM USC, calls the students, faculty and all the members of our community to resist and oppose the US-Aquino regimes plan to worsen the crisis in the education sector. The University of the Philippines Manila University Student Council (UPM USC), the highest representative body of the students in the University, stands firm in our call to resist and oppose the K+12 of the US-Aquino administration. We call on the students, faculty, staff and all the other members of our community to stand up for the peoples right to education and militantly oppose the Aquino administrations anti-student and anti-people policies.

K+12, labanan, tutulan, huwag pahintulutan!

Mga Kapwa Iskolar, manindigan para sa karapatan sa edukasyon! Labanan ang papatinding krisis sa edukasyon sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Aquino!