Briones offered DepEd post as Senior High School starts before Duterte takes over

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 May) — Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte has offered the Department of Education secretary post to former national treasurer Leonor Briones, but a concrete plan to address the challenges posed by the implementation of the K to12 curriculum has yet to be materialized.

Duterte on Saturday night told a press conference at Hotel Elena that he offered Briones the secretary post because she is “familiar with the problem we are facing with the implementation of K-12.”

The K to 12 program adds two years – Grades 11 and 12 — to the basic education curriculum and will be implemented starting schoolyear 2016 to 2017.

Those who graduated from High School this year are to move to Grade 11, the first year of Senior High School, instead of proceeding to College, as was the usual, before the K to 12 program.

Classes in public schools nationwide will open on June 13. Duterte will take his oath as President on June 30.

The incoming President said he is aware of the potential K-12 roadblocks: marginalized students who will not be able to enrol, and teachers who might lose positions.

A plan to deal with the lack of teachers is also in mind but Duterte said he can’t give an answer yet until he is able to talk to DepEd.

“The new secretary should be able to come up with a recommendation to solve the problem,” he said.

Duterte asked Briones to decide on his offer by Tuesday.

Earlier this week, DepEd-XI assistant regional director Teresita Tambagan said that government-run schools in the country that intend to run the K-12 curriculum this June need some 33,000 teachers. About 44,000 applications came in but only a small number was hired.

She said this prompted them to look at the reasons why only a few teachers made the cut.

The K-12 adoption is supposed to create jobs for people – even for retired teaching professionals who can work part time or less than six hours a day.

The stringent qualifications, she said, must be filtering applicants. DepEd is now considering to recalibrate the qualifications necessary for teachers to be able to work as senior high school educators. (Jesse Pizarro Boga / MindaNews)