THE League of Filipino Students and Kabataan Party-list on Thursday expressed concern that around one million students may have nowhere to go after the K to 12 program due to the high cost of education.
LFS and Kabataan Party-list members, together with parents of graduating students, trooped to the Department of Education main office to demand the stopping of K to 12.
“As March ends, the dreams and future of hundreds of thousands up to a million students are being put to an end by the Aquino government. 700,000 to one million grade 10 students have nowhere to go after this school year because of the K to 12 program,” LFS national chairperson Charisse Bañez said.
Bañez noted that most of them are already considering to stop their schooling because of the high cost of education needed for the additional two years of K to 12.
Banez pointed out that even at the end of 2015 to 2016 school year, almost half of the grade 10 students are still unsure where to continue their senior high school education.
Bañez noted that an additional year will prompt students to look for P6,000 up to more than P15,000 for miscellaneous fees for modules, workbooks, ID, uniform, etc.
She added that the requirements needed for every subjects will cost P12,000 to more than P25,000 on top of the needed notebooks and other basic school supplies which costs P4,500 to P10,000. The youth leader also pointed out that the expenses for food, transportation will amount to P30,000 up to more than P60,000 annually.
“Under K to 12, students need 100,000 to over 200,000 pesos in order to finish the additional two years in high school. This is an additional burden to their families especially for those who work as workers who only have a minimum wage of P481,” said Bañez.
“It is also noteworthy to mention that Filipino families in the poorest decile only earns P69,000 in a year. The additional two years of K to 12 is clearly an additional burden to Filipino families. It will ultimately prevent our youth especially the children of farmers and workers, the largest sectors of our society, from completing their secondary education,” Bañez continued.
Bañez also noted that these expenses will not be covered by the government.
She added that on top of these, students will be forced to pay high tuition rates in private senior high schools since they are being forced to enroll in private due to the scarcity of available public senior high schools.
“Private schools dominate senior high school. 78.89% of senior high school in the National Capital Region is private. Even if there are public senior high schools, the slots for grade 11 are very limited. Public senior high schools cannot even accommodate the current grade 10 students from their own schools,” said Bañez.
Bañez pointed out that the common tuition rates in the National Capital Region alone costs P30,000 up to P70,000 annually. According to her, there are even some schools with matriculation fee that amounts to more than a hundred thousand pesos.
“Aquino has abandoned its responsibility to provide free and mandatory public basic education through the K to 12 program. For the sake of ensuring profit for private schools and capitalist-educators, Aquino regime is hell bent in executing the K to 12 program at the expense of our right to education, our dreams, and our future,” said Bañez.
“It is the greatest farce of the regime to even hold graduation ceremonies as K to 12 deprives our students to be high school graduates and forces them to be high school drop outs. The moving up rites held in schools this week are rites that will lead the students and the country into a disaster,” said Bañez.
“K to 12 is a huge roadblock that prevents high school students from treading a brighter future. It is unacceptable that the government continues to dismiss this fact for the sake of implementing a program beneficial only to the few,” Bañez added.
“It is never too late to stop K to 12 especially if the future of one million students and the whole country is at stake. We cannot allow this program to continue destroying the hopes and dreams of our pag-asa ng bayan,” Bañez ended.