Press Release
November 7, 2012


During debates on the Senate Floor, Senator Edgardo J. Angara clarified pressing issues regarding the Enhanced Basic Education Act, which institutionalizes the K to 12 program proposed by the Department of Education (DepEd).

Among the issues raised were the shortage in classrooms, teachers, and textbooks; the two-year gap of no incoming freshmen in colleges and universities come 2016 and 2017; and the reception among parents who would be spending for their kids' two more years of schooling.

"We have been filling the shortage in classrooms, teachers and textbooks since 2010. And any of deficiencies that we incur today will be met and dealt with in the coming years, given the current initiatives of the DepEd," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.

He emphasized that if the country keeps on suspending the transition to K to 12 due to shortages in infrastructure and manpower, nothing will be achieved.

"We are one of the only three countries on the planet with just ten years of basic education," continued the veteran lawmaker, noting Djibouti and Angola as the other countries.

Another looming problem is the two-year gap of no enrollees in colleges and universities. Because of the additional two years of senior high school, there will be no incoming freshmen in 2016 and 2017, no sophomores in 2017 and 2018, no juniors in 2018 and 2019, and no seniors in 2019 and 2020.

"The DepEd has been conducting extensive consultations with the agencies handling tertiary education institutions--CHED and TESDA," said Angara.

"There is now an ongoing study on whether we can tap the facilities of some of the private colleges and universities to offer grades 11 and 12, so that during those blank years, colleges and universities will have students enrolled and studying, utilizing their facilities, and also tapping the expertise of their teachers. We are confident that the transition will be eased in smoothly."

Of the K to 12's reception among parents, Angara explained that the proposal to add two more years of schooling was initially met with apprehension among parents.

"But after every consultation, which is still going on, much of their apprehension went away and led to their realization that the K to 12 program is a good investment for their children," continued the former UP President.

Angara underscored that the main objective of the K to 12 program is to update and enhance the system for basic education in the country.

He concluded, "We want to equip every Filipino with the right education, make sure they are taught the right subjects, and make their skills and their knowledge equally competent with those of other countries. That is the universal clamor we have for every Filipino."

Angara is the principal author and sponsor of the Enhanced Basic Education Act (SBN 3286).

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