Senator Calls for K-12 Review over ‘Deteriorating Competence’ of Teachers, Students

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian recently expressed alarm over what he calls as the ‘deteriorating competence’ of both teachers and students, something that he has attributed to the K-12 educational system.

The senator was not just sharing an opinion without basis because he based his statement from data collected from the National Achievement Test (NAT) for Grace 6 and Grade 10 students. In the past 2 years, the results have been going down.

Before, Grade 6 was averaging at least above 50 percent and then our Grade 10… it’s barely passing 50 percent. But in the last two school years, bumaba siya (it went down to) below 50 percent for both Grade 6 and 10,” Gatchalian revealed during the Senate committee on education hearing.

According to the senator, subjects that suffered the most during the implementation of the K-12 program are Mathematics, English and Science.

Malaking dahilan dito ay yung K-12 natin at dapat ayusin ang implementation, yung curriculum. At tingnan din kung yung curriculum ay tama at tama yung execution,” the senator declared.

Photo credit: Canadian Inquirer

The following day after making the statement, Gatchalian clarified that he is not against the K-12 program per se, but how it was getting implemented and how the curriculum is taught.

While the K to 12 may have had a part in the decline of scores, it is not the program itself that is problematic but rather the implementation and how the curriculum is taught,” Gatchalian clarified.

Tulad ng sinabi ko kahapon, may connection ang K to 12 sa pagbaba ng performance ng ating mga estudyante at guro dahil hindi pa pulido ang implementation nito. Tuloy-tuloy ang ating implementation pero lumabas sa hearing kahapon na ang curriculum na dapat itinuturo sa K to 12 ay may malaking posibilidad na hindi naituturo ng maayos.

Gatchalian also noted the decline in the competence of teachers.

Teachers who are supposed to teach K to 12 are not adequately prepared and are thus not fully competent in what they are teaching. Kaya kahit natuturuan ang mga bata, hindi pa rin nila napo-process ng tama ang curriculum kaya rin mababa ang nakukuha nilang score sa NAT,” he said.

The senator also pointed out that the performance rate of would-be teachers is also on a decline.

And we also looked at the passing rate (of) LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers). To my surprise, pababa nang pababa ang passing rate ng LET, ng elementary teachers. From 33 percent, ngayon 27 percent,” Gatchalian revealed.

In fact, mas madali pang maging abogado tsaka doctor kesa maging teacher ngayon.

Gatchalian vowed to do something about this, especially because not all employers are willing to accept K-12 graduates over those with college degrees – and this had been the strong reason why the program was implemented in the first place, to supposedly allow these young people to find jobs even if they didn’t graduate from college.


  1. Perhaps, the “No child is left behind.” policy is the reason for this deterioration. In that, teachers have urged themselves to pass their
    undeserving students whether attending the class or NOT. Irregardless of the poor performance, incompetency, tardiness, and absenteeism of a learner, his teachers have to pass him because they will carry him as a burden if they did not. Once a learner has received a failing remark from the teacher, the involve teacher shall give remedial session to the learner until he can pass the subject, and this is no corresponding fee, meaning, absolute zero negative consequence that the student will incur for not doing his part or simply not putting his effort to learn. Because of this policy, many learners are abusing it with the thinking that at the end of the school year they can still pass. This has encourage irresponsibility among the young citizen of the country.

    The idea of this policy, did not consider the nature of the teaching profession. It needs a lot of effort, patience, and hardwork. Yet, the one who introduced this, added burden to the teachers, and as a consequence, they tend to avoid being confronted with this. The thing is, they choose not to struggle in teaching unwilling and abusive learners. Why suffer? Pass those learners and leave it to their next teachers, and this has become the cycle framed from the policy that has led to noticeable deterioration of both learners and teachers.

  2. Try to check the curriculum itself..there are so many subjects to be taught,other subjects like MTB is useless..there are so many paperworks and clerical task for teachers..we are overworked but underpaid..and above all, try to examine the books..produce workbooks for the pupils and 21st century teaching aids and materials. Do not just depend on the teachers initiative..we need those materials..your books under k to 12 is incompetent..Books from BEC are much better.

  3. There is no problem with regards to the intelligence or qualifications of the teachers because those hired are board passers and undergone relevant trainings. The problem with some say dismal performance of some teachers lies in the motivation. Who will work well and to the maximum when you know that you are not paid well just like those appearing on the payslip of pnp and afp. We are asking wage hike but they give us additional work instead. Promotion of teachers is also very rare , very hard and very slow. Give all the demands of the teachers and you will see the true pinoy teachers

  4. Ito ang produkto ng KABOBOHANG AQUINO! Sa halip na ayusin ang problema sa mga kakulangan sa silid aralan at problema ng mga guro, hinabaan at dinagdagan pa ang problema ng mga guro at magulang!

  5. I am not leaving detailed comment, but as a classroom teacher…actual teacher do not review the curriculum, review your laws protecting (actually spoiling) the learners…

  6. Ibalik ang no read no move policy para ang mga bata at maging mga magulang ay obligadong mag aral….wag nilang sabihin palagi na obligasyon Lang nga mga guro ang pagtuturo sa pag basa…sa amin nga 32 out of 37 pupils in a class are non readers grade 3 na…at 12 ang d marunong magsulat …bakit naka abot ng grade 3 ang mga non readers and non writers na ito….Dahil nga cg lang ng move sa higher grades …parents will tell you ok Lang mam kahit d marunong magbasa ang anak ko papasa rin yan sa grade 6 ………d ba bawal sa inyo ang mga bata na e retain….yan kasi Sabi ng dep ed…ang isa pang nakakainis halos every week may report and you will spend most of your time making reports dahil sa ASAP …minsan parang report ng DOH , DPWH, DSWD and other government agencies sa mga guro pa ipinapasa…Kung pagtuturo Lang sana ang gawain namin and let others do the paper works I assure you hindi ganyan ang resulta…..another thing too much protection of the children …parents and pupils abused it….minsan they take advantage at pini. Perahan ang mga teachers…Kung iisipin mo nga pag walang gamit sa School mga bata teachers are provider even their baon during recess and lunch time teachers provide it….because you feel sad pagmakita Ming walang kinakain ang mga bata…pls give also justice to our teachers….

  7. The following reasons are culprits to the deterioration of the performance level of teachers and students under the K-12 program:
    1. Non-alignment of teaching loads.
    > But how can I give quality education if the subjects given
    to me are not my specialization or within my mastery. Yes, there are lots of materials in the internet, but how can I deliver a certain subject without mastery? How can you teach what you do not know? How can you give quality education if you don’t have quality teachers? I am a qualified teacher (2 licenses – RN & PT) but how can I become a quality teacher if the subject assigned to be is not my specialization or my field of mastery. It’s like asking a fish to climb a tree.
    2. Too many tasks and reports assigned to teachers: DOH, DPWH, BFP, PNP, CDRRMC, NDRRMC, PDEA, etc…
    3. Home visitations, solicitations for brigada eskwela, fund raising, and sometimes charity work (school supplies) and own pocket feeding program for students who goes to school without eating breakfast and lunch.
    4. Overworked but underpaid
    5. Unavailability of materials, equipment and teachnology as teaching aids for the 21st century learners. (Teachers buy their own LCD projectors, television sets, printers to be equipped and to facilitate easily the teaching-learning experience of students.
    6. Inconvenient classrooms ( too crowded but less ventilation). Teachers need to solicit, do fund raising or tap the PTA for the production of electric fans and other classroom needs.
    7. 4-5 preparations (subjects)
    8. No student left behind policy of DepEd
    9. Etc., Etc., Etc.,
    With the above- instances, scenarios or reasons do you think both teachers’ and students’ performance level will be better?

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