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K to 12 threatens jobs of 85,000 college workers

There is a serious threat to the employment of teachers and staff working in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) when the full implementation of the K-to-12 program comes two years from now. And more college faculty and non-teaching staff are starting to realize the real implications of what is deemed as the “single most important education reform in the country.”

In 2016, when the Senior High School (SHS) program will take effect, what used to be the graduating students will not proceed to college or any HEI but instead will enter Grade 11.  The following year, those students will be in Grade 12. There will be no new freshmen enrollees in HEIs.

No new enrollees would mean loss of income for the HEIs, and possibly, not enough jobs for teachers.

Thus, many private colleges and universities – as early as now – are reportedly “laying off” or offering early retirement to their faculty and support staff to mitigate the financial constraints that the K to 12 would bring.

Based on the estimate by the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities, “more than 85,000” faculty and non-teaching staff would be affected by the SHS or Grades 11 and 12, since there would be no new freshmen enrollees in HEIs.

DEPED GUIDELINES

Education Secretary Armin Luistro assured that in order to “cushion the effect on personnel who will be affected” by the K to 12, the Department of Education (DepEd) will “work closely” with other concerned agencies including the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of Labor of Employment (DOLE).

The “Joint Guidelines on the Implementation of the Labor and Management Component of the Republic Act No. 10533 or the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013” dated May 30, 2014 had been released by the DepEd, with DOLE, CHEd, and Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA).

The concerned agencies lined up an array of “interventions” to the “would-be affected faculty and non-teaching staff in HEIs. Despite this, it remains inevitable that hundreds – if not thousands – are expected to lose jobs once the SHS is finally rolled out in 2016.

UNEMPLOYMENT

“Nobody saw it coming, not the premature pains of transition because of the K to 12 program of government. “The short of the long story is that we in the Higher Education Institutions [HEIs] are confronted with the scare of zero enrolment of first year students in school years 2016-2017, 2017-2018,” said award-winning poet Dr. Rebecca Añonuevo, who teaches in a prominent women’s college.

Añonuevo explained that both teaching and non-teaching staff in higher education “didn’t expect the self-destructive panic of many a head in the administration of schools.”  In at least two women’s colleges in the country, she said that “an early retirement/separation package has been offered to all members of the general education faculty, if not the entire faculty of professional programs.”

EARLY SEPARATION PACKAGE

The “devil” called “fear,” said Añonuevo, seems to be “successful in mocking and insulting the dignity of teachers and the teaching profession as a whole.”

As early as this school year, Añonuevo disclosed that the “devil” in the mandatory early separation program has been “grinning ear to ear” as if urging the would-be affected personnel to “take” the offer. “We are told that we can’t spread the word around about the ‘generous’ offer: Other schools could not afford the same,” she said.

Despite the “hard work and dedicated service of teachers,” Añonuevo lamented that some administrators in leading private schools, “have chosen the convenient exit for us – an early separation package, effective May 2015.”

These administrators have even “reduced us, their teachers, to 110%-120 % of monthly salary per month of service for the separation package, which they are shameless to call mandatory,” she said.

SURGE OF SUPPORT

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said the “retrenchment program” – which is reportedly being done by some HEIs prior to the implementation of SHS, – “is not a solution at all.”

“We sympathize with our fellow educators in the tertiary level,” said ACT Secretary General France Castro. “Aside from the tenured and fulltime faculty members, we are much worried about the situation of the untenured or contractual ones which comprises more than half of the teaching force of HEIs in the country,” she added.

Castro said that the Joint Guidelines issued by DOLE-DepEd-TESDA-CHEd poses more threat to tenure of faculty and support staff because “the owners and administrators of schools under the supervision of HEIs has the right to lay off their faculty members if they deem that they are no longer needed.”

  • ardi

    “Nobody saw it coming…”!!!!!! Are you kidding me? Since the very beginning we have been telling you and debating with you (government) this ultra possible consequence!!!! Ah well, in anycase, the CBCP had eventually acknowledged the mistake of our good government: “The debate on whether we should adopt the K to 12 scheme is behind us”. We just have to live with it! We just have to fix again…our government’s ‘hit and miss’ management paradigm. Nevertheless…the government hastily implementing a program without much study – this, I supposed, everybody saw coming!!!! i’m not against k-12…but I was and still am against government officials implementing nationwide programs (whether in education, sports, entertainment, politics, etc.) without even conducting a thorough (okey, even just an elementary) scenario planning!

  • Mikhail101

    If government will suspend the implementation of K to 12 program in private schools for at least 2 years, there will be sure college enrollee at 2016 – 2017. By 2018 first batch of grade 12 will graduate and enroll to college.

    • chum

      this is a good point. kaya lang po kung isu-suspend ng 2 years from 2016 to 2017. at itutuloy sa 2018 ang grade 11 and 12, meron po ba kayang college enrollees for 2 years (2018-2019)? just a thought..

  • Nixon

    If this is true. Tininmbang ka ngunit kulang.

  • gatou

    What is more important, the welfare of 85,000 college workers or the future of millions of students and future students?

  • Joel

    According to the ACT Gen Secretary half of the HEI teachers are untenured or contractual. Why so? Is this because teaching is their part time job? Are they not supposed to be permanent employee after 3 months of continuous employment?

    • popeyee

      You ask the lawmakers why…

  • Ros Feliciano

    If we mean development of a particular dialect, then develop ALL our dialects for harmony so there’ll be no separatist idea among our people especially in Mindanao.

  • Ros Feliciano

    Innovation of technology means Enlish language is a must for advancement in this competitive world.

    • wilfredo andaluz

      Dapat sana noon ang English di-ipinalagay na salita lang ng mga matatalino at tila class kung yon ang sinasalita. Dapat sana itinuring yon na kapantay lang ng Tagalog o ibang dialetiko sa Pilipinas na madaling pag-aralan. Kasi, tila nilagyan nila ng gap ang salitang English o Tagalog na kapagTagalog ang salita pang-masa ang turing pero pag English pang matalino raw kaya tuloy yong iba ay di-tuloy napatuunan pag-aralan ang English kasi sa tingin nga nila ay mahirap pag-aralan.

  • Ros Feliciano

    There is no threat at all; on the ontrary, it is a solution of unemployment problem.

  • Ros Feliciano

    The English medium of instruction means for the unity of our people as there’ll be no dominant group upon other groups.

  • wilfredo andaluz

    Sana, ipairal na lang ang k 12 doon sa mag-uumpisa pa lang ng grade 1 sa taong ito. Pero, yong magga-graduate sana sa taong ito ng high school, ngunit na-extend pa ng 2 taon, dahil sa k 12, hindi na sana sila isinama dahil, di-naman nila inabot ang ganong batas noong mag-umpisa silang mag-grade 1. Dahan-dahan lang muna, para di-rin maapektuhan ang mga guro dahil baka nga mawalan sila ng trabaho para magturo.