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.