The Department of Education decided that the way to move forward with our country’s educational system is to add an additional two years in order to make sure that we produce world class graduates. No one’s really talking about it despite its looming implementation.

As it is, it is a challenge for a larger portion of our population to deal with education as it is. Students drop out even before they reach the middle of due to a slew of reasons including (and probably specifically) financial problems and poor student performance.

While the constitution says that education is a right, the government has continuously failed to make this apparent. The burden of providing quality education is placed on parents, if not the individual.

By making an additional two years mandatory, it simply compounds the challenge for parents to support and sustain their children’s education. It’s not like the government fully subsidizes all the needs of students in their studies.

The DepEd claims that the target is to produced job market-ready graduates after high school. And yet the reality is, college graduates are bound to have more stable work even in first-world countries.

And how about the pressure this places on the current system? Are plans in place to hire and train more teachers? And how about additional books, materials and classrooms? Aren’t these already problems without the two additional years?

Before we try and compare number of years with other country’s educational systems, why don’t we, first and foremost compare things on the basis of the quality of instruction?

Similar proposals have been made before but they have always been stop-gap remedial measures. The focus should be in ensuring that students develop the foundational skills. And by foundation, this means starting young. The system must be preventive rather than corrective.

If we are to improve our educational system, improvements must be made on the basis of quality, accessibility and sustainability.

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