CEBU City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young believes the proposal to implement a longer basic education program is a good idea, albeit impractical and untimely.

“Why? What is the quality of education today? Very poor dayon pun-an nimo ug (you want to add) two more years?” he said.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro recently said he wants to implement a 12-year basic education program, or seven years in the elementary level and five years in the secondary level.

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“We don’t have enough classrooms and teachers and they (DepEd) said it themselves and then they’re going to add two more years. How are they going to implement it? What is the use of putting two more years when the quality of the first 10 years is terrible? It’s really useless,” Young said.

Pre-school level

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Young, who also heads the local school board, said adding two more years in the education system is good, but it should be implemented in the pre-school level.

“Mas sigurado ang epekto (It will have a greater effect) because it is the foundation of education. If you don’t give the children pre-school and you will add two more years samot na siyang mahagbong (the more likely the student will fail),” he said.

“I really hope he (Luistro) will not make a big mistake because modako unya ang problema (he might create a bigger problem),” he said.

Some teachers and parents also oppose the education secretary’s proposal.

Leo Cantillep, president of the Parents’ and Teachers’ Association (PTA) at the Don Gerardo Ouano Memorial National High School, said it will only create another burden for parents.

“Lisud pagpangita ug kwarta karon (Money is hard to find these days),” he said.

He pointed out the problem facing the education system today is not the number of school years but the quality of instruction Filipino students receive from teachers.

“What DepEd should do is enhance the instruction skills among teachers. They should focus on that area,” he said in Cebuano.

Alternatives

Edna Montellano, another PTA officer, said there are other ways to enhance student learning.

She said the solution lies in the education system and the teachers.

“Teachers should take their job seriously because some aren’t focused. The system has to be refined,” she said in Cebuano.

Night School principal Marilou Mabansag said the proposal has pros and cons.

“Today’s graduates, we can say, are not competent enough, which is why there’s a need for an additional year. But the proposal’s implementation will need more money for additional teachers, books and classrooms, etc.,” she said in Cebuano.

She said the proposal, if implemented, will benefit education graduates since demand for their service will increase. But that’s not good news for current teachers who will end up with additional loads, she said.