OK with K to12
Not to be outdone by its counterparts in South East Asia, the Philippines is set to launch its new educational program dubbed as “K-12” this June 2012 school opening. Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Bro. Armin Luistro speaking earlier on the national television said “all is set” already for the new curriculum, adding the program is urgent and critical to enhance quality basic education in the country.
K-12 curriculum aims to fulfill 12 years of basic education to students as opposed to its 10 years cycle in the past also in an effort to adequately prepare graduates for the world of work. It covers mandatory kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school), giving enough time for learners to master concepts and skills taught in school.
Sec. Luistro stressed the Philippines is the only country in Asia and among the three remaining countries in the world that has 10-year basic education cycle, this also in reference to the findings from Southeast Asian Minister of Education, Organization, Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH).
Deped says most of the basic education graduates under the previous curriculum are too young to legally enter the legal labor force as they are below 18 years old. Also this implies that those who will not go to college would be either unemployed or be vulnerable to exploitative labor force, while those who may be interested to set up business cannot legally enter into contracts.
The education department also reasoned out that 10-year basic education cycle hinders the recognition of the Filipino professionals abroad. According to Deped, the Washington Accord prescribes 12-years of basic education as an entry to recognition of engineering professionals, while the Bologna Process also requires 12 years of education for university admission and practice of profession in European countries.
Meanwhile Sec. Luistro said the program will be implemented phase by phase. The new curriculum will be offered to incoming Grade 1 and incoming junior high school students this school year 2012-2013, utilizing local dialects and with few subject areas for Grade 1. For senior high school, Sec. Luistro has targeted 2016-2017 for its implementation, considering also its needed infrastructure support.
By 2018-2019, completion of full 12 years of basic education will be required for enrollment of college freshmen.
As this developed, Sec. Luistro said they are having 30 model schools all over the country for its experimental senior high curriculum in coordination with CHED, LGUs and other stakeholders, with students taking subjects which fit to their interest and skills plus certification and accreditation from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), a government agency in charge of manpower development in the country. The department has also conducted massive trainings for teachers and school heads to prepare them on this program.
Senior high graduates are also expected to master one new language- be it German, Japanese, Mandarin, French or Spanish. Any question? In the meantime, this corner is hoping our answer would be “Nay, Sir.” (Comments at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By: Ronald O. Reyes
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