• Written by Rose M. Lingad
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Nearly a quarter century ago, the Education for All (EFA) movement was born in Jomtien, Thailand. Delegates from around the world signed Declaration on Education for All, a historic commitment to “meet the basic learning needs of all” by universalizing primary education and slashing illiteracy rates.

    Sixteen years later, in 2007, the six EFA goals, covering all aspects of quality basic education, were formalized at the World Education Forum in Dakar and a deadline to reach those targets by 2015 was set.

    Since 2000, 2015 has emerged as the horizon towards which the world projects its aspirations to achieve the Education for All as one of the basic thrust of the Millennium Development Goals. While accelerating efforts to achieve these goals, United Nations has been mobilizing the world to define the post-2015 development agenda. In this process, United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have been working with wide array of stakeholders to reflect on education beyond 2015.
The recent trend of World Education Forum 2015 addresses the need to attain Education for All to Education 2030 – Sustainable Development Goal. Equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030. UNESCO leads the way to build a powerful new education agenda that will transform lives into a better one.

Education in the Philippines has undergone several stages of development from the pre-Spanish times to the present. In meeting the needs of the society, education serves as focus of priorities of the leadership at certain periods in our national struggle as a developing country.

There is much desire to go with the trend, the government was able to initiate actions along this pursuit only in 2002 as evidenced by the enactment of the Government Act of Basic Education, otherwise known as Basic Education Curriculum. The goal of the basic education was to provide the school age population with skills, knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive, and patriotic citizens.

In 2011, our country started the implementation of the K to 12 educational systems, as mandated by the Department of Education. The K to 12 Program covers Universal Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education ( six years of Primary Education, four years of Junior High School and two years of Senior High School) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship. The new 12-year basic education system is compulsory, along with the adoption of new curriculum for all schools. The transition period will end on 2017-2018 school year where the first group of students who entered the new educational system will be graduated.

According to Sen. Sonny Trillanes, “Expect higher dropout rates due to K to 12” during his privileged speech at Congressional Meeting on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. He is calling for the suspension of K to 12 program, on the grounds that the country is not yet prepared for its full implementation. More students might stop schooling because of additional expenses needed to finish two more years in high school. To back up his claim, the senator cited statistics showing that even without the K to 12, only 43 out of 100 grade 1 pupils finished high school. Of the 43, only 23 entered college.

If estimates are correct, that parents will have to shell out up to P20, 000 for the two additional years of high school, Trillanes said the dropout rate in the country will worsen starting 2016.
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) expect a drop in enrolment during these two years all the way to school year 2021-2022 when things are expected to normalize.

Even though school completion rates have continually grown during past 100 years, dropping out of school persists as a problem that interferes with educational system efficiency and the most straightforward and satisfying route to individual educational goals for young people.

The fulfillment of the objectives of the basic education cannot be done by the teachers alone. Even though teachers are considered the agents of the educative process, teaching and learning are conditioned and influenced by several factors such as the community, co-workers, administrators and other members of the administration and agencies. In one way or another, they determined the success or failure of the whole educational program. Concerned individuals should be pool their resources, cooperate with one another and work for objectives to benefit the whole society.


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