June 1 — On the first day of classes for elementary and high school students, youth groups and other progressive organisations composed of teachers, workers, women, and indigenous peoples under the Stop K to 12 Alliance merged in Mendiola, Manila, to register their demand to suspend the Aquino government’s K to 12 program.

The K to 12 program, which the Aquino camp says is ready for full implementation in schools nationwide, creates legitimate concerns for the students and their parents. The added two years of senior high school will mean more years for toiling families to pay for tuition fees amounting to P 30,000 to P 40,000 per school year. According to the President, through the Department of Education (DepEd), students will no longer experience deficit in classrooms, facilities, and the teaching force. However, the above-mentioned department revealed that the educational system is still lacking 57,167 teachers, 19, 324 kindergarten classrooms, 93,618 elementary and high school classrooms, and 23,928,335 books for K to 12.

The Stop K to 12 Alliance said that the education program will only produce semi-skilled workers meant to serve multinational companies here and abroad which is in favor of the administration’s labor export policy.

Furthermore, the said groups also called on the government for higher subsidy on education, higher wages for teachers, and additional classrooms and facilities for schools across the country.