Tuesday, June 05, 2012
K- to-12 Program : What You Need to Know
The K to 12 Program covers 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 [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. The adoption of the program is in response to the need to improve the competitiveness of our country’s graduates as the ten-year basic education cycle is seen as inadequate for work and higher education. In fact, overseas Filipino workers are not automatically recognized as professionals in other countries that view the ten-year education program as insufficient. The Philippines is the only country in Asia and is one of only three countries in the world with a ten-year basic education cycle. A. Salient Features 1. Universal Kindergarten Education. Kindergarten has now been integrated into the basic education system to ensure that all grade 1 students are ready for academic learning. Universal kindergarten started in SY 2011–2012 with a budget of P2.3 billion and was made mandatory starting SY 2012–2013 through the signing of Republic Act No. 10157 entitled “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor” on January 20, 2012. In SY 2012–2013, an estimated 2.3 million five-year-old children will enter kindergarten, of which 1.7 million (74 percent) will be served by public schools. 2. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. The mother tongue will be the medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade This includes the following: Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano. Medium of instruction will be English and Filipino starting grade 4. 3. Core Academic Areas. The core academic areas include Math; Filipino; English; Araling Panlipunan; Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao; and Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH). These are based on the College Readiness Standards of the Commission on Higher Education and are equivalent to the courses offered under the General Education Curriculum of Higher Education Institutions. Science will be taught in grade 3, but its concepts will be integrated in other subjects like Health (under MAPEH), Math, and Languages in grades 1 and 2. Edukasyong Pangtahanan at Pangkabuhayan will be taught starting in grade Technology and Livelihood Education and technical–vocational specializations, consistent with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority training regulations, will start in grade 7. 4. Specializations. The additional two years (grades 11 and 12) or SHS will allow students to choose among academic, technical–vocational, or sports and arts tracks depending on their interest, the community needs, and the results of their skills assessment. The SHS will allow mastery of core competencies for lifelong learning and preparedness for work, higher education, middle-level skills development, or entrepreneurship. B.Implementation and Transition Management Program implementation will be in phases starting this June for SY 2012–2013. Grade 1 entrants in SY 2012–2013 will be the first batch to fully undergo the program, and incoming first-year high school students (or grade 7) in SY 2012–2013 will be the first to undergo the junior high school curriculum. To prepare teachers for the new curriculum, a nationwide summer training program for about 140,000 grades 1 and 7 public school teachers will be held in May. The Department of Education (DepEd) is also working with various private school associations to cover teachers in private schools.[ To facilitate the transition from the existing ten-year basic education to 12 years, the DepEd will also implement the SHS Readiness Assessment and K to 12 Modeling. C.Social Benefits of the Program The perceived benefits of the program include: i) placing the Philippine education system at par with international standards, following the Washington Accord and the Bologna Accord; and ii) contributing to the development of a better educated society capable of pursuing productive employment, entrepreneurship, or higher education disciplines. D.Ensuring Sustainability of the Program Enhancing the basic education curriculum and increasing the number of years for basic education was adopted as a Common Legislative Agenda during the February 28, 2011 Legislative–Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting. The administration-supported bills that aim to increase the number of years for basic education are Senate Bill 2713 (Recto), House Bill (HB) 4219 (Belmonte), and HB 4199 (Escudero). These bills are pending at the Committee Level.