K to 12: For better, or for worst-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
WHAT is K to 12? Is it a solution to the tremendous challenges of today’s millennium, or is it an additional problem that needs to be addressed by everyone concerned?
The Philippine educational system has been suffering from various feedback, specifically when it failed to cater to the needs of the Filipino students.
Many professional graduates in the country who have gone abroad for better employment have unfortunately been required for further studies and trainings because they manifested some lack of educational background and suitable trainings in their own respective field.
Unlike other countries that have 12-year basic education, the Philippine basic education has the least number of curricular years - six years elementary and four years secondary. The 10-year basic education program has been unable to give sufficient knowledge, skills and trainings needed to become competent graduates and workers.
In the National Achievement Test (NAT) conducted annually by the Department of Education (DepEd), the result has been very low and most schools have not met the National Performance Standard (NPS) of 75 percent.
Moreover, most high school graduates have been discovered to have lack of basic skills and they could hardly express their ideas and show comprehension in different angles of academic subjects in Tertiary Level. It contributed to their frustrations, difficulties and failures. Hence, they preferred to discontinue their studies and focused on other matters like working overseas, early marriage, or self-employment.
Also, graduates from the Elementary Level have found out to be inefficient in their high school subjects particularly in Math, Science and English. So they could not survive in high school leading to failures and drop-outs.
These are just some of the significant reasons why the DepEd’s curriculum specialists planned and indorsed the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum effective this June. Most of them believed that adding two years in basic education would contribute for the solution of the declination of skills on the part of the Filipino learners.
In the K to 12 program, the kindergarten level becomes compulsory. The primary level starts from Grade I and ends at Grade 12. The secondary level starts from Grade 7 and ends at Grade 12. Grades 7 to 10 are considered the junior high school, while Grades 11 to 12 are the senior high school.
Moreover, the grades that appear in the Form 138 of the students shall be using the descriptive rating instead of using the quantitative type of assessment. This would help learners not to dismay upon looking their failing grades. Interventions would be applied by the subject teacher for students with learning difficulties. This is to decrease the number of failures and even achieve the zero failure rate in the school.
The main objective of the K to 12 curriculum is to achieve the DepEd’s goal of eradicating illiteracy rate in the country. “No child is left behind.” Every Filipino has the right to receive quality education in order to become an asset in all dimensions, competent, efficient, effective and productive citizen leading to a decent and comfortable living.
The most interesting part concerning the K to 12 program is on its practical assistance for the poor but skillful students. For instance, the student cannot afford to go to college; he is given an option or privilege to be employed not as a professional but on technical job because his skills acquired and developed during his Senior High School can be a guarantee for his qualification for a vocational employment.
Many people have raised their eyebrows as to whether or not this curriculum can solve the tremendous issues on the Philippine basic education. Some doubt on its credibility to stand the test of time. It may not be able to solve the existing traditional problem in education but it may add to another problem like financial burden to parents and prolonging the agonies of the students to stay for a longer time in school. The rest have the idea of “wait and see,” while others have been optimistic for its contribution for the achievement of quality education.
The K to 12 curriculum may become successful if all the people concerned work together for its implementation. The implementers ought to be trained well since they could “make or unmake” the said program. Assistance from different organizations is likewise needed, the parents should extend their positive support, the students are needed to be enlightened about the benefits they could receive from the program and the curriculum makers should be active for the promotion of its sustainability since the government has spent millions of money for the realization of the said curriculum.
Hence, whether the curriculum can either bring “good or bad,” there would be no regret if everyone supports it. After all, if it succeeds everyone shall be benefited. As the popular adage reminds everyone concerned: “In Union, there is Strength.” (Joanie Timpac Haramain)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 01, 2012.