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STOP PRIVATIZATION OF EDUCATION: Rechannel voucher and GASTPE funds to public schools. Terminate MOU/MOA with foreign-owned schools. Free quality education for all!

21 November 2016 No Comment

Ika-21 ng Nobyembre 2016

REP. FRANCE L. CASTRO
ACT Teachers Party-List

Privilege Speech

fc-nov-21

Good afternoon my fellow legislators and to our guests.

The 1987 Constitution mandates that the state to provide FREE QUALITY PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION for all.

Section 1. The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

Section 2. The State shall (2) Establish and maintain, a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels.

However, the R.A. 10533 or the K-12 Law gave way to increased Public-Private Partnership and privatization of education.

SEC. 10. Expansion of E-GASTPE Beneficiaries. — The benefits accorded by Republic Act No. 8545, or the “Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act”, shall be extended to qualified students enrolled under the enhanced basic education.

The DepED shall engage the services of private education institutions and non-DepED schools offering senior high school through the programs under Republic Act No. 8545, and other financial arrangements formulated by the DepED and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) based on the principles of public-private partnership.

gastpe

Hindi po libre para sa lahat ang K-to-12 program ng Aquino administration na ipinapagpatuloy ng kasalukuyang administrasyon. Umaasa ito sa isang heavily privatized model of implementation sa pamamagitan ng voucher system. There are Close to a million school children were further pushed into the private education system through an expanded voucher system, more commonly known as the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE). The voucher system is not in line with the constitutional provision on free education for all up to high school because it only gives a partial subsidy for students and their families. Instead of building public facilities to realize the Filipino youth’s right to free and accessible education, government has arranged to either pay private and higher learning institutions to accommodate students from public schools through the SHS Voucher Program or allow investors to build more schools.

According to the December 2015 data of the Department of Education, only 2 out of 10 Senior High Schools (SHS) are public SHS. There are a total of 933 SHS in the region. 197 of which are public. The remaining schools are private SHS, private higher education institutions, or state universities or colleges. The slots in public schools available for incoming grade 11 students remain measly. The K to 12 program forced 1 million students to enroll in private SHS helps widen the market for capitalist educators to increase their rate of profit. Detailed Guidelines for SHS Voucher Implementation or DepEd Order 88 Series 2015:  amount indicated in the voucher will be deposited directly to the school bank.
There is a case study featuring the Affordable Private Education Center o APEC schools which is established by two major multinational groups UK-based Pearson Plc and Philippine’s Ayala Group of Companies. Pearson is the biggest education company in the world recording a $8.2 billion total revenue last 2015. Ayala holds the position in the top 10 corporations in the country.

ISA PO ITO SA PANGUNAHING NAKIKINABANG SA VOUCHER SYSTEM. The K to 12 program guarantees the Ayala-Pearson group around P300 million total revenue just by implementing grade 11. By the full implementation of K to 12 in 2017, the government has guaranteed them of around P500 million.

APEC Schools does not comply with the requirements prescribed by the Department of Education for private schools operating in the Philippines. Rather than complying with the requirements, APEC Schools through its local partner Ayala Corporation came up with a MOU and MOA with DepEd to have its operation exempted from the rules and regulations prescribed by the Philippine authorities.

Bilang resulta ng special treatment ng DepEd sa APEC, nasakripisyo ang kalidad ng edukasyon para sa pagkamal ng kita ng APEC Schools. Ayon sa isang pag-aaral na isinagawa ng University of Alberta sa Canada, ang APEC ay nagrerenta lamang ng opisina at commercial buildings para isagawa ang operasyon nito sa halip na magtayo ng silid-aralan batay sa regulasyon ng DepEd. 70 porsyento ng mga guro ng APEC ay hindi lisensiyado para magturo kung kaya mababa ang pasuweldo sa mga ito na nakakaapekto sa antas ng pagtuturo at kalidad ng edukasyon.

Ang patuloy na operasyon ng APEC schools sa bansa ay patunay ng pag-abandona ng pamahalaan sa katungkulan nito na magtaguyod ng libre at kalidad na edukasyon sa mga mamamayan dahil mismong ang Department of Education (DepEd) ang nagbibigay ng basbas para sa APEC schools na magpatuloy sa operasyon nito sa bansa.

Kritika at Panawagan

It is clear that solving the problems of the public education is not through privatization schemes like the Voucher System. Kailangang ibasura ang mga neoliberal na palisiya sa sistema ng edukasyon ng ating bansa. Pangunahin dito ang K-12 na isang mekanismo ng gobyerno upang tumatalima sa neoliberal policies na nagpapayaman ng mga malalaking korporasyon. Taumbayan ang talo sa ganitong sistema dahil ginagawang highly skilled cheap labor lamang nito ang ating mga kabataan at mag-aaral.

Corporatization of Basic Education — Yan ang kasalukuyang pag-abandona ng gobyerno sa public education at tuluyang pagpapaubaya sa mga dambuhalang korporasyon tulad ng Ayala-Pearson.  Education is seen as a lucrative profit opportunity. Sa pagpapatuloy ng mga neoliberal policies, imposible ang pagkakaroon ng free or affordable quality education para sa lahat.

In order to solve the perennial problem of backlogs in personnel and teaching/learning resources, what the government needs to do is to increase its allocation to education. The government should at least allot 6% of the Gross Domestic product (GDP) or 20% of the total National Budget to education. We need to construct more classrooms, hire more teachers, ensure allocation for the provision of quality learning tools and learning environment.

Dapat pondohan ng gobyerno ang libre, kalidad at makabayang basic education para sa lahat!

Nananawagan kami para sa pag re-channel ng proposed Php 24 billion for Voucher System to public education at sa pagtigil ng lahat ng privatization schemes sa edukasyon.

 

Sources:
http://www.lfs.ph/2016/02/03/k-to-12-guarantees-profit-of-private-schools-lfs
https://canteachersfedcandesenseignants.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/apec-schools-model-undermines-education-quality/
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2015/07/27/Educators-dissatisfied-with-Aquinos-educational-reforms.html
CORPORATISED EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES, Study by Curtis B. Riep
GAB 2017, Volume I-A, HB 3408

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