Scrap the K-12 curriculum now!

SunStar Lacanlale
SunStar Lacanlale

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should decide outright to scrap the K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education. The curriculum, which was introduced with the aim of improving the employability of senior high school graduates, has failed to achieve its goals. Admitting this failure, BBM should end this burdensome additional two years and provide relief to Filipino parents and students.

The K-12 curriculum was designed to make senior high school (SHS) graduates competitive and employable, even without a college degree. The idea was to equip students with the skills necessary for the workforce or to start their own businesses. Following the example of other Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines adopted these additional two years of schooling. However, the anticipated benefits did not materialize.

What led to the failure of the K-12 curriculum? Several factors contribute to its shortcomings.

The curriculum intended to teach students special skills that would prepare them for employment or entrepreneurship. To achieve this, schools needed adequate facilities and qualified teachers. However, the education system in the Philippines has long struggled with a shortage of both. Even before the introduction of the K-12 curriculum, there was already a lack of qualified teachers and sufficient facilities such as classrooms and laboratories. Adding two more years to the basic education cycle exacerbated these existing problems.

Quality of education in many schools remains subpar. With the additional two years, the expectation was that students would receive better training and education. Unfortunately, the reality has been different. Many schools were not ready to implement the new curriculum effectively. The lack of resources, training, and support for teachers meant that the additional years did not translate into better learning outcomes for students.

The K-12 curriculum increased the financial burden on Filipino families. Many parents struggled to cover the additional costs associated with two more years of schooling. This financial strain, coupled with the lack of perceived benefits, has led to widespread dissatisfaction with the program.

The promise of increased employability for SHS graduates has not been fulfilled. Many employers still prefer hiring college graduates, leaving SHS graduates at a disadvantage. The job market has not significantly adapted to the influx of SHS graduates, and many young people find themselves either unemployed or in low-paying jobs that do not match their skills and training.

The curriculum itself has been criticized for being too broad and not sufficiently focused on the practical skills needed in the job market. Students are often required to take a wide range of subjects, leaving less time for the specialized training that was supposed to be the hallmark of the K-12 program.

The lack of coordination between the Department of Education and other stakeholders, such as industry partners and higher education institutions, has also hampered the effectiveness of the K-12 curriculum. A more collaborative approach might have helped to ensure that the skills taught in SHS were aligned with the needs of the job market.

Given these issues, it is clear that the K-12 curriculum has not delivered on its promises. Continuing with a program that has proven to be ineffective and burdensome is not in the best interest of Filipino students and their families.

President Marcos Jr. has the opportunity to make a decisive move by scrapping the K-12 curriculum. By doing so, he can address the concerns of parents, students, and educators who have been negatively impacted by the program. This decision would also allow the education system to focus on improving the quality of the 10-year basic education cycle, addressing the shortages of qualified teachers and adequate facilities.


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