No 'headaches' in education for next admin, says Aquino

"Malinaw po: Hindi na tayo mag-iiwan ng sakit ng ulo sa susunod sa atin (It is clear: We will no longer leave behind headaches for the next administration)," Aquino said as he enumerated figures on classrooms, textbooks, seats, and teachers.

The education department estimated an additional 4.7 million students will enroll until 2017, so more classrooms need to be built, more teachers need to be hired, and more textbooks and seats need to be bought:

"Ayon nga po kay Brother Armin, ang sumatutal na naipagawa nating mga classroom at na-hire na mga guro ay higit pa sa pinagsama-samang nagawa mula sa nakalipas na 20 taon bago tayo manungkulan," Aquino said.

(According to Brother Armin, the total number of classrooms built and teachers hired is more than what was accomplished for the last 20 years before we stepped into office.)

K to 12, out-of-school youth

On Monday, the President also reiterated the country's need for the K to 12 program, although there was no mention of the petitions that have been filed against it before the Supreme Court (SC).

"Kinekwestyon na ang credentials ng ating mga kababayan sa ibang bansa. Meron na ring na-demote dahil hindi sapat na patunay ng kakayahan ang diplomang tangan niya.

(Other countries are already questioning the credentials of our graduates. Others were even demoted because their diplomas are no longer enough to prove their qualifications.)

He added: "Kung ang lumang kalakaran sa edukasyon ay maihahalintulad sa manggang kinalburo, ngayon sinisiguro nating hinog ang kakayahan ng mga estudyante ng magpanday ng sariling kinabukasan."

(If the old system of education can be likened to a mango that is forced to ripen, now we're making sure that the skills of our students are already ripe so they can forge their own future.)

With the signing of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, two years have been added to the basic education system of the Philippines. The largest batch of students under the program will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017.

To date, at least 5 petitions have already been filed before the SC to suspend the K to 12 program. Critics believe government should focus on the existing problems in education instead of introducing a new system.

Aquino on Monday also hailed the education department's Alternative Learning System and the social welfare department’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for the drop in the number of out-of-school youth (OSY) in the Philippines.

He cited figures from Philippine Institute for Development Studies which reported a decrease in the number of OSY from 2.9 million in 2008 to 1.2 million in 2013. –

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.