Press Release
June 20, 2022


Q: Let's tackle two of the important issues that were discussed during that report of David Santos. First of all, is the K to 12 program. In your view, should it be abolished or just reviewed and strengthened?

SEN. WIN: Rico, the promises of the K-12 system are not happening. And one of the biggest selling points of the K-12 when we were discussing this in the past was to guarantee employment to our senior high school graduates, meaning we add two years but in exchange, or at least the benefit in adding that two years is for our senior high school students to be employed, but it's not happening. In fact, a lot of the companies are not hiring our senior high school students because they think they lack the skills to be hired. And a lot of our senior high school graduates are not getting employed. So the promises are not happening. And this is actually one of the biggest disappointments of the K to 12. That's why we need to review it. We need to take a look on how to tweak the K to 12 system. I don't agree with going back with the 10-year schooling system because the whole world is now K to 12. Regressing is not the solution, but what we should do is to look at the senior high school program, fix it and make sure that our senior high school graduates are going to be employed.

Q: So Senator, how should it be improved? How should it be strengthened? Math, science, arts and sports track, should they be improved? Should they be thoroughly strengthened? So at least our senior high school students could be employed off the bat after graduation?

SEN. WIN: Not to go into so much detail but we have to look at the curriculum of the entire K to 12 through our system. Our experts are saying that our curriculum is too congested. The students are being taught with many many competencies and subjects that they end up learning nothing. That's number one, and number two, we need to look at the tracks in senior high school, specifically the tech-voc track. The tech-voc track is designed to give additional skills to our senior high school students giving them NC I and NC II certification. But are those skills needed by the industry? And is the training being given to the senior high school students enough in terms of time and in terms of technology? So these are the things that we need to look at but of course, K to 12 is much more than that. My top two issues is that we have to look at is number one, the senior high school program specifically the tech-voc track and then number two, the curriculum itself.

Q: And what about mandatory ROTC for students 18 years and above, particularly in colleges and universities. Do you agree with the incoming Secretary of Education that this should be put in place?

SEN. WIN: Rico, I actually filed the bill to reinstate ROTC in our basic education system and my belief is military training gives our students additional skills in terms of, for example, disaster response, in terms of responding to calamities, and also other accidents. We need to give our senior high school students additional skills. Military training doesn't mean that we want them to go to war, but the discipline, the love for our country, and especially the skills that we can give them will enable them to respond to the time, especially because our country is one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of disasters.

Q: Senator Win, in your view, how soon should this be put in place? How soon should it be reinstated?

SEN. WIN: Rico, we need to design the mandatory ROTC around the academics of our students. We have to make sure that our students are not overburdened also with a lot of activities. Like I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest complaints of our experts is our curriculum is too congested, so we need to give our students time to study. So in short, I'm leaving this to the discussion in the Senate as to how to design the ROTC, when we bring back ROTC, how to design it properly, but in short, my thoughts on ROTC, it gives additional skills to our students that will enable them to respond to the times.

Q: Okay, let's talk about that, the teachers pay briefly. They're clamoring for a pay hike. Currently the entry level for teachers in public schools is salary grade 11 or P25,439 per month, which is far from the daily family cost of living of around P32,600. Do you think she'll be able to push forward with salary hikes for teachers in the first, at least for the first year of this new administration?

SEN. WIN: Rico, we took a look at the salary averages of teachers in ASEAN and we're one of the lowest. In fact, we are third to the lowest in terms of salaries being given to our teachers. The highest is Indonesia, their entry level there's almost P60,000 higher than Singapore and Indonesia gives a lot of premium to their teachers. I actually filed a bill to improve the entry level of our teachers from salary 11 to salary grade 14, and so on and so forth, to improve the salary grade of the other teacher levels. At the same time, I also filed a bill to add a few more teacher levels so that there will be promotions, for example, Teacher 6, Teacher 7 and Teacher 8 so that they will be promoted. In short, I do agree that we should increase teacher salaries, so we can deter from being third to the last in the ASEAN, so we can at least enter the median level in the ASEAN.

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