NUPL, Suspend K12 Coalition file 3rd petition vs K-to-12, as 4th suit set for Friday

NUPL's Cheryl Daytec-Yangot explains why the K to 12 program should be stopped at a press briefing Thursday, when the third petition against the administration's flagship education reform was filed. A fourth petition is being readied for filing at the SC on Friday. TV5 SCREENSHOT
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MANILA, Philippines -  (Update 11:35 p.m.) A third petition asking the high court to stop implementation of the K to 12 program was filed Thursday by the National Union of Progressive Lawyers (NUPL) led by Atty. Cheryl Daytec-Yangot and the Suspend K12 Coalition led by Prof. Rene Tadle.

This, even as a fourth petition is being readied for filing Friday by the Suspend K12 Alliance led by Dr. David San Juan.

At a news conference, Daytec-Yangot said the K to 12's being made compulsory was illegal, because it is burdening the exercise of the right to basic education, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.
Partylist lawmakers, teachers and an alliance of student groups will file the fourth petition before the Supreme Court on May 29 to stop the implementation of the K-to-12 basic education curriculum.
The petition is to be filed by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Suspend K-to-12 Alliance.
Education officials, unfazed by the serial lawsuits against the new curriculum that will add two years of schooling to the basic education program, have said they continue to make preparations to ensure both the public and private schools can cope with the transition years, when, critics charge, thousands of teachers will be displaced, and "a million" students might be forced to drop out.
In the 55-page petition filed Thursday, the NUPL and the Suspend K-to-12 Coalition led by Professor Rene Tadle asked the High Tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the K-to-12 program.

The coalition said the K-to-12 program is unconstitutional since major parts of it are not in keeping with the 1987 Constitution, such as the addition of a senior high school or Grades 11 and 12 and the compulsory kindergarten or pre-school system.

The petition pointed out that 56,771 of 111,351 college teachers and 22,838 non-teaching staff nationwide are in danger of losing their employment once the law is fully implemented in school year 2016-2017.

Among the petitioners to the fourth lawsuit set Friday will be David San Juan, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, seven partylist lawmakers, Benjamin Valbuena (ACT), academics and head of different organizations.

Before the filing, teachers and students will hold a protest action at the Department of Education's (DepEd) K-to-12 Summit, dubbed "Sa K to 12 Kayang-kaya, Sama-sama!" at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Private schools to profit big-time - Ridon
In a news conference, Kabataan partylist Representative Terry Ridon said private schools will rake in huge profits with the roll out of the K-to-12 curriculum, because of the two additional years of schooling.

Ridon said that the private institutions would be the ones that will absorb some 800,000 students who could not be accommodated in public schools starting next year.

"The Department of Education expects that the remaining 800,000 or so students will be absorbed by what they call as non-DepEd schools, the bulk of these are private education institutions that charge high tuition rates," he said.

DepEd has developed a Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program, which provides qualified public and private Junior High School (JHS) completers with government subsidies that will enable them to enroll and study in private schools or non-DepEd schools licensed to offer the SHS Program.

However, the P8,000 to P22,000 voucher per student will not be adequate to accommodate students in private schools, according to leaders of the Student Christian Movement (SCM), National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Anakbayan and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).

"You can't enroll in private schools with just P22,000. This means that the balance will be shouldered by the students," Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan said.

Those who do not have the means to pay for their education in private schools will not have any option but to drop out, Crisostomo added.

In an earlier statement, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that at least 1.6 million students are expected to take up senior high school, but the DepEd can only accommodate 800,000 in public schools.

Of the cities in NCR, Makati, Caloocan and Parañaque have no public schools that are deemed ready to offer the program.

"Under such circumstances, DepEd is in fact setting up a situation where more students will be forced to enroll in expensive private schools just to graduate from the basic education program," Ridon said.

"It's a devilish plan that ensures that private schools will have a greater number of enrollees, and consequently, higher profit all to the disadvantage of thousand of students," he added.
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