Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino decried the “railroaded” passage of House Bill No. 6643 or the K-12 Bill on second reading, saying that the rushed bill contains provisions “not grounded on solid evidence.”
“There is a consensus to reform the basic education curriculum. But the solution is not to legislate K-12 immediately, without us even waiting for an evaluation, an assessment of K-12’s effectivity,” Palatino said.
Palatino was one of the last legislators who interpellated on HB 6643 during the plenary deliberation this afternoon.
While on the floor, the youth solon raised several issues on the K-12 Bill, particularly on the underlying principles of adding two years to the country’s basic education cycle, including the aim to “decongest” the curriculum and provide employment opportunities for the youth.
“Curricular reforms are not enough to resolve the high drop-out rates in the high school level. DepEd already decongested the basic education curriculum under the Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC) over a decade ago. Yet, we still have high drop-out rates,” he explained.
“If we implement K-12, can we promise K-12 graduates that they will have jobs after they graduate? No, we cannot promise that. Even college graduates now find it hard to get jobs,” Palatino said.
Palatino appealed to his fellow legislators to wait for the one-year evaluation of K-12, which the Department of Education started implementing this school year. “Isn’t it more proper for Congress to wait for the one-year evaluation of K-12 before we legislate? I don’t understand the reason for rushing the passage of a legislation that will affect millions of students, even if the curricular reforms under K-12 have not yet been evaluated,” he explained.
However, the youth solon’s appeal fell to deaf ears. The Lower House approved HB 6643 on second reading without amendments via Viva Voce voting.
Meanwhile, several youths from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) stood up and protested in the plenary after the bill was passed. Congress security led them out of the session hall.
“This is a sad day for the Filipino youth. The youth’s apprehension is this: If we implement K-12 without bridging the gaps in the education sector, K-12 will only worsen the current education crisis,” Palatino ended.