THE K-10 or Matatag Curriculum has so far received positive feedback from students and teachers, who find it easier to deliver instruction due to the revisions, an education official said.
The pilot testing for the revised curriculum is ongoing. It aims to "decongest" the competencies of the current curriculum.
"Both teachers and learners will be happy. Teachers will no longer be burdened by the multitude of competencies, and learners will also no longer be overwhelmed by the lessons," said Director Salustiano Jimenez of the Department of Education Central Visayas (DepEd 7).
He added that the K-10 is aligned with the standardized curriculum followed abroad.
He said the first phase of Matatag curriculum, which includes Kindergarten, Grades 1, 4, and 7, will be implemented across the country in the upcoming new school year 2024-2025 this July.
During the opening of classes of the current school year 2023-2024, the education agency piloted the first phase of the new curriculum in 35 schools nationwide.
The pilot program, which started last September 25, covers five schools in each region. Other chosen regions include the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Cagayan, and Soccsksargen, as well as Caraga.
In the region, the selected schools included Tindog Integrated School in Medellin town, North Central Elementary School in San Fernando town, Tabogon Central Elementary School, Dumanjug National High School, and Liloan National High School.
He said they will now implement the changes under the Matatag curriculum after pilot testing the program in seven regions in the country, including Central Visayas. There are a total of 17 regions in the Philippines.
Jimenez said that while the first phase of the new curriculum will be rolled out in the next school year, the second phase will be piloted in the same schools aforementioned.
The education official said that the Matatag curriculum will bring about significant adjustments in subjects and their allocation across grade levels. Full implementation is scheduled for different grades over the next few school years.
He said the revisions aim to enrich the learning journey of Filipino students, guaranteeing a curriculum that aligns with the evolving requirements of the educational environment.
Under the Matatag curriculum, Grade 1 students will be taught five subjects: language, reading and literacy, mathematics, makabansa, and good manners and right conduct (GMRC).
This is a reduction from the previous seven subjects, which included mother tongue, Filipino, English, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan, MAPEH, and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao.
For Grade 2 students, the subjects will be mathematics, makabansa, and GMRC, with language and reading and literacy being replaced by English and Filipino subjects. Meanwhile, in Grade 3, science subjects will be introduced in addition to the existing five subjects.
Jimenez said that from Kindergarten to Grade 3, the medium of instruction will be the mother tongue language or the Cebuano language for the region, whereas previously there was a separate subject for it.
From Grades 4 to 10, students will study eight subjects: Filipino, English, Science, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan, MAPEH, Technology and Livelihood Education, and GMRC.
The revised curriculum will be implemented in several phases as follows: Kindergarten, Grades 1, 4, and 7 in the academic year 2024-2025; Grades 2, 5, and 8 in the academic year 2025-2026; Grades 3, 6, and 9 in the subsequent academic year; and finally, Grade 10 in the last year of the administration, covering the academic year 2027-2028.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas said in a radio interview last month that they have already started training teachers for the rollout of the revised Matatag curriculum in the coming school year.
Meanwhile, since last year, a coalition of teachers is urging the education agency to halt the rollout of the updated curriculum and instead, engage with education stakeholders to develop a curriculum that is relevant and responsive.
In a statement dated September 25, 2023, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers criticized DepEd's premature implementation of the Matatag curriculum, asserting that it introduces students and educators to yet another experimental educational framework following the "problematic" K-12 program introduced in 2012.
“The worsening education crisis stems from the government’s failure to significantly overhaul the curriculum, address education shortages, capacitate and empower teachers through improving their economic and working conditions and conduct an evidence-based nationwide learning assessment to determine the extent of learning loss brought about by faulty curriculum and aggravated by two-year school closure during the (Covid-19) pandemic,” the group said.
Meanwhile, DepEd is gradually moving toward returning to the June to March school calendar, years after introducing the new school calendar.
The decision to revert the start of the school year to June is in response to numerous complaints about the difficulties of conducting classes during the scorching summer months. Filipinos consider March to May to be the summer months. (KJF)