On World Teachers Day, DepEd bares K+12 by 2012

[The complete text of the "DISCUSSION PAPER ON THE ENHANCED K+12 BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM" (DepEd discussion paper) as announced by Deped Sec. Armin Luistro on 05 October 2010 is available at Philippine Education Research Journal.]

A. Luistro (second from left)On World Teachers' Day, October 5, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro presented the 12-year "Enhanced Kindergarten-Grade 12 (K+12)" basic education program that the government hopes to implement by school year 2012 to 2013.

To implement the program, the Department of Education (DepEd) has to work with Congress to amend the existing law, Batas Pambansa 232 or the “Education Act of 1982,” which states that the basic formal education is a 10-year program.
To amend the law and peg the basic education program at 12 years, DepEd has to conduct consultations until the first quarter of next year.

“After consultation, the law can be passed by 2013, before the next elections,” Luistro said, adding that political will is needed to make this program possible.

“The crucial part is how to insulate this from partisan politics that the education system has been subjected to,” he said.”What is essential is that the plan is accepted widely and that we are able to implement it soon.”

“DepEd is taking bold steps to enhance the basic education curriculum. The K+12 model will provide quality 12-year education that every Filipino is entitled to,” Luistro said.

The K+12 model specifies one year of kindergarten and 12 years of basic education.

The new program adds two years to the current education model in the Philippines, the only Asian country still implementing a 10-year basic education program.

DepEd’s proposed education model

Luistro said the DepEd is introducing the 12-year education model based on the marching orders of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Aquino earlier said the 12-year program will help public school students gain an even chance at succeeding along with their counterparts in private schools.

DepEd’s proposed model is the K-6-4-2 Model, which involves:

  • one year of kindergarten;
  • six years of elementary school (Grades 1-6);
  • four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10), and
  • two years of senior high school (Grades 11-12).Luistro said the K+12 program will be implemented in phases. It will start next year with the offering of a universal kindergarten program.Currently, 86 percent of five-year-old children attend kindergarten school. Under the K+12 program, DepEd aims that 98 percent of five-year-old children will be in kindergarten by June 2011.The new K+12 curriculum will be offered to incoming Grade 1 as well as First Year Junior High School students by June 2012.The DepEd intends to implement Senior High School education by school year 2016-2017.High school graduates will become ‘employable’The K+12 program specifies six years of high school education composed of four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.Students will receive a diploma after finishing junior high school. They will be given another diploma upon finishing senior high school.The two years of senior high school aim to provide students with skills and competencies that will help them become employable upon graduation.The curriculum will provide “specializations” based on the career that a student wishes to pursue.”We will make high school graduate employable, so that a tertiary education is not a necessity to get a job,” he said.”We will consult with the business sector to make sure the curriculum is acceptable to the business community,” he added.Additional HS years will not replace college education

    Luistro clarified that the two years of senior high school will not replace tertiary education.

    He explained that the K+12 program will actually allow more students to enroll in tertiary education.

    “If senior high school [graduates] can be employable, there should be more self-supporting, working students,” he said.

    He added that senior high school graduates do not have to enroll in college immediately after graduation but may choose to work for a few years to save enough money for a college education.

    The Education Secretary said the department will work closely with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to align the new basic education program with the existing programs of CHED and TESDA.

    K+12 system will enhance quality of education

    The DepEd has received flak from various groups for its alleged ‘wrong priorities,’ saying that the additional two years will not address the main problem: the deteriorating quality of education in the country.

    Different groups have also said the lack of budget will affect the implementation of the proposed program. [Read: Pinoy Magsaysay awardees oppose 12-year basic education cycle]

    However, Luistro countered that the additional school years under the K+12 system will address the problem of deteriorating quality education in the country.

    He cited the problem about a congested curriculum, which crams 12 years worth of basic education into 10 years.

    According to him, the new program will spread out the subjects that students are taking. It will allow them to take electives that will develop their skills in music and the arts, literature, and entrepreneurship.

    He also said that in the current basic education program, high school graduates do not possess the basic competencies and emotional maturity that one needs in the workforce.

    Currently, graduates of high school at 15 or 16 are not mature enough to handle higher education disciplines, he said.

    Luistro also said that the program will have positive effects on the country’s economy.

    He cited studies showing that improvements in the quality of education increases a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 2 percent.

    The education secretary also expressed confidence that the department has enough time and resources to implement the K+12 program.

    “If we look at what is needed by the education sector today, it really goes without saying that we have to move, and move very fast,” he said.

    P60-B fund needed

    To implement the additional two years of the senior high school program starting by the school year 2016 to 2017, DepEd needs an estimated amount of about P60B for infrastructure, teachers, and textbooks in public schools.

    Luistro said the department has enough time to look for funds for the program because its implementation is still six years away.

    He said what matters is the Aquino administration sees the value in improving the basic education program of the country.

    “It’s not a matter of lack of budget,” he said. “It’s a matter of prioritizing education in the national budget.”


12 thoughts on “On World Teachers Day, DepEd bares K+12 by 2012

  1. Sir/madam,

    Tatanong lang po sana kung ang preschool ay kasali na sa elementarya at bibigyan na ng pundo ng gobyerno ano po ang magiging benepisyo ng mga guro sa preschool? maraming salamat po.

  2. Hi. I would like to know the official links you’ve used as reference for this. I would like to know more detail on this for my round table discussion. thanks.

  3. please clarify this, how about the pre-school from private school are they not accepted for grade 1? kailangan pa talaga sa public school mag pre-school ang bata before mag grade 1?

  4. i will subject my son to 12 years of education, and when he graduates, there are only few jobs available in the country.

    i think what they should improve is the quality of education and the availability of employment.

    who doesn’t want good education for their kids? but in these times, most parents just want to have their kids graduate and start working.

    i guess the people who propose these changes either have a lot of money to pay for tuition fee, or they stand to financially benefit from it.

    • My other suspicion is that those who are able to articulate their support for the additional 2 years of school under the proposed K+12 are the ones who can afford it. Except for holding erstwhile and infrequent protest rallies, those who are opposed to K+12 are generally docile and very infrequently make their voices heard in the media and more importantly, seldom engage in a sustained dialog with the authorities who make the decisions. The game is NOT one where the meek are “blessed for they shall inherit…” It is one where the meek are overrun by the already powerful who use their relatively more articulate voices to drown the meek who oppose them…

      And why, may I ask, are we so concerned about how our graduates compete in the global stage? Did it occur to anyone that more than 90% probably don’t even get the chance to go outside the country and compete out there but instead stay in the Philippines? For as long as we’re more concerned on how the few Filipinos who join OFW compare with the Joneses, we are going to dissipate our resources which we should use to look after ourselves at home.

      Our nurses and doctors and engineers are not that bad. Heck, a lot of those who accept nursing jobs are medical doctors! Have we even considered that these graduates are considered by foreign employers because of the initial language barrier and that they may have been downgrading our graduates as a ploy to pay them less?

      But enough of that. We do need to improve the quality of education at home — but certainly not through lengthening the number of years our students stay in school. We need to focus on providing quality education to our students, concentrate on providing them the necessary and appropriate skills that the domestic market can absorb. Let the students who have the financial wherewithal and intellect pursue whatever they want — but not at the expense of the average Filipino who is just concerned about getting a job after school to survive, most probably have a family and lead a decent life. And let’s be honest with the unlucky, marginal students who would likely waste their time and money trying to acquire a college education that they either drop out of, or can’t even use that sought-after college diploma to get a job. Let’s help channel or steer them to acquiring employable skills instead of an expensive liberal education that does not even give them a decided advantage over a high school graduate.

      Click on this link and give it some thought: http://youtu.be/xp8Xio7dkms

  5. How about naman po yung mga mahihirap na can’t afford makatapos ng 10 years ng elementary at high school? Madaragdagan pa po sila ng 2 years, di ba? Paano naman po ang quality education sa mga gaya nila? Pwede na po bang 10 years lang then continue na sila sa college?

    • Huwag mong kaligtaang ibilang yong idinagdag na compulsory kindergarten. ‘Yong sinasabing K+12 ay 13 taon na sa halip na 10 taon ayon sa dati.

      1 year kindergarten
      6 years elementary
      4 years junior high school
      2 years senior high school

      A total of 13 years if the student successfully completes each year.

      The quality of education is an even more serious issue and that begins with the education/training our teachers get especially their ability to engage students in the emerging and fast-changing educational paradigms, reforms in the curricula to make them more rigorous and responsive to current and future needs, and responsible no-nonsense and adequate assessment of both teachers and students.

      “…yong mga mahihirap na can’t afford makatapos ng 10 years ng elementary at high school?” More than half the population are probably in that category. Sa palusotang pangangatuwiran nating mga Filipino: maghunos sila ng dili(s)…

      [From my own personal experience, I had to give up college after completing high school. I did stop going to school for a year until I figured out a way to have a benevolent benefactor pay for my college tuition fee... Unfortunately, for most of those madlang mahihirap, they don't have as much leverage as I'd been blessed to have to even consider the route I took...]

  6. I’m very new to the Philippine education system (from the U.S.) so please accept my apology if my initial perceptions are incorrect. I moved to the Philippines about three years ago and I have a thirteen year old in second year high-school and two children that have yet to start school. The latter give me a reason to stay interested for a few years.

    It’s my initial assessment that students in the Philippines are not challenged to their full potential and they are surrounded by peers who find lower grades acceptable. And worse than that their peers consider middle to high seventies (the grade on a test or the end of a quarter) to be doing ‘well’ !

    To use an american idiom … that just sounds ‘crazy’ to me :-) … Would anyone here have any resources to show me what sorts of report cards children are bringing home between the ages of ten and fifteen. I’d like to look further into this matter before formulating a way to address the problem.

    Thank you.

  7. We do not need QUANTITY, we need QUALITY education!

    On average specially on provinces how many students who enter elementary graduate grade 6? also how many high school students finish 4th year?..

    Eh hirap na nga makatapos ng pag aaral tapos dadagdagan pa!
    Bakit hindi nila himayin mabuti kung ano ano ang itinuturo sa mga bata lalo na during elementary, if only those people on DepEd could make themselves invisible and sit in with the students while they have classes, malalaman nila ang tunay na problema.

    Kulang sa facilities, walang aklat, kulang ang silid aralan, kulang sa guro, at minsan ang mga nag tuturo mismo sa mga bata ay kulang sa nararapat na kaalaman para maka pag turo ng tama. The students can only learn as much as the teacher teaches. Excuses to our beloved teachers but I think we should do something to train and upgrade our teachers first. Most of our teachers learned and lived their life in industrial age, we are now at the information age, things have changed a lot and changing very fast! In Manila there are times student pa ang nag tuturo sa mga teacher, but how about in rural areas?

    They can only see the problem on their point of view, try to look at it in a different perspective. Put yourself on the shoes of the students, parents and teachers.

  8. I wish to raise my concern re my 5 yr. old son born June 12, 2006, who is presently Level II at Ateneo de Davao. I was told that my son will not be recommended to take the qualifying exams for Grade I since he will be 11 days less than 6 yrs. old on 01 June 2012, the cut-off age-date based on the K+12 guidelines.

    I would like to respectfully ask the Honorable Secretary Armin Luistro for some consideration/dispensation allowing my son to take the qualifying exams. Please help, sayang din kasi ang 1 year just because he was born 11 days later.

    I hope and pray that my son would be given a chance, especially because I believe that he is now prepared to take the qualifying exams.

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