Pros & Cons in the K+12 Basic Education Debate

In his MINI CRITIQUE column that appears in The Philippine Star, October 14, 2010, Isagani Cruz summarized the following pros and cons on the K+12 debate:

The PROS (which is basically the side of the government, well-heeled and articulate leaders from the academe, the business community and the media):

  1. “Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical.”
  2. “The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. One reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on task.”
  3. International test results consistently show Filipino students lagging way behind practically everybody else in the world. In the 2008 mathematics exam, for example, we came in dead last.
  4. “The congested curriculum partly explains the present state of education.” Twelve years of content are crammed into ten years.
  5. “This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education.” If ten years were adequate, how come employers do not hire fresh high school graduates? How come most high school graduates flunk the UPCAT?
  6. “Most graduates are too young to enter the labor force.” Since most children start Grade 1 when they are 6 years old, they do not reach the legal employable age of 18 when they graduate from high school today.
  7. “The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education.” Why prioritize the minority of high school graduates that go to college?
  8. “The short duration of the basic education program also puts the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially the professionals, and those who intend to study abroad, at a disadvantage. Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad.” The best examples are our engineering graduates, who are condemned to international jobs not befitting their professional status due to our not having a 12-year basic education cycle.
  9. “The short basic education program affects the human development of the Filipino children.” If we believe that 17-year-old high school graduates are emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually mature, why do we require them to get parental consent before they get married?

The CONS (which are basically the madlang people whose pocketbooks would be adversely impacted by the proposed additional 2 years of basic education):

  1. Parents have to shell out more money (for transportation and food) for the education of their children.
  2. The government does not have the money to pay for two more years of free education, since it does not even have the money to fully support today’s ten years. DepEd must first solve the lack of classrooms, furniture and equipment, qualified teachers, and error-free textbooks.
  3. We can do in ten years what everyone else in the world takes 12 years to do. Why do we have to follow what the rest of the world is doing? We are better than all of them. Filipinos right now are accepted in prestigious graduate schools in the world, even with only ten years of basic education.
  4. As far as the curriculum is concerned, DepEd should fix the current subjects instead of adding new ones. The problem is the content, not the length, of basic education. As an editorial put it, we need to have better education, not more education.
  5. A high school diploma will not get anybody anywhere, because business firms will not hire fresh high school graduates.
  6. Every family dreams of having a child graduate from college.
  7. While students are stuck in Grades 11 and 12, colleges and universities will have no freshmen for two years. This will spell financial disaster for many private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
  8. The drop-out rate will increase because of the two extra years.

“The government has not yet shown the arguments of the opposition to be fallacious,” writes Cruz.

On the other hand, Cruz characterizes the opposition (anti) as being “very vocal airing its arguments not only in newspapers, on radio, and on television, but even in the parliament of the streets.”

“As of this writing,” Cruz writes, “I have not heard the opposition rebut the arguments of the government. In fact, as far as I can see, they have refused to even listen to the government.”

Since this is a public debate, Cruz contends that “we have to move from constructive speeches to rebuttal”.

I think we really don’t have a compelling need to listen to rebuttals.  Enough yakety yak already!  What we need are objective, actual (empirical) cost-benefit and pedagogical studies to support or debunk the claims of either side.  A promising start would be to read Length of School Cycle and the “Quality” of Education.

96 thoughts on “Pros & Cons in the K+12 Basic Education Debate

    • Resolve that the use of notebooks among public schools using CVIF’s Dynamic Learning Program be used. (main issue: financial)
      Cite pros and cons of the notebooks concerning about finance.

      • please help me. we’ll have our debate this monday and I need assistance because I researched and I found nothing.

    • Resolve that the use of notebooks among public schools using CVIF’s Dynamic Learning Program be used. (main issue: financial)
      Cite pros and cons of the notebooks concerning about finance. Please help. I really need this for our debate on monday.

      • There’s a number of hits on the subject when you Google “CVIF’s Dynamic Learning Program”. Remember that the innovative husband-and-wife administrators of CVIF, Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Marivic C. Bernido (former Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Awardees) are behind the “Learning Physics as One Nation (LPON) in which “Dynamic Learning Program” was mentioned as a building block for learning.

        You may also want to learn more about “Learning Management Systems (LMS)” in which those notebooks, laptops, tablets and smartphones are integral components in the new learning paradigm.

        In the Philippines, the “cons” would definitely be the financial outlay required plus the infrastructure needed (Internet, Wi-Fi, etc.); for me, however, the investment in Dynamic Learning Program is well worth it. Teachers’ deficiencies in both teaching skills and knowledge of their subjects will partly be alleviated. Learning mastery is the other very important part of the equation that should be tremendously impacted.

        Good luck in your debate.

        • Yes Sir. But the problem is that in our debate, I belong to the affirmative side which I really found it difficult to discuss points and to defend it. Please help.

    • There’s a number of hits on the subject when you Google “CVIF’s Dynamic Learning Program”. Remember that the husband-and-wife administrators of CVIF, Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Marivic C. Bernido, were Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Awardees and they, too, are behind the “Learning Physics as One Nation (LPON).

      You may also want to learn more about “Learning Management Systems (LMS)” in which those notebooks, laptops, tablets and smartphones are integral components in the new learning paradigm.

      Good luck in your debate.

  1. the infos here will be of great help for our defense in an upcoming debate… we are on the opposition side… sir we ask permission to use these infos, please

  2. It’s really time to change the current curriculum more high school graduates passed without enough skills and knowledge, teachers were just ordered by the principal for promotion. It’s a dillema parents came , ask favor just their sons/daughter promoted “makiki-usap or mag-project na lang ko sir , chair, tables, or books , or anything . It’s end up in bribing, It’s in the concept of mass promotion, teacher’s got low performance if they have failed students.

    • the system of teaching , teachers attitude, increase teachers’ salaries and other benefits para makapagturo ng mabuti dahil hindi na worried paano makabayad ng lahat ng LOANS (Principals and high ranking DEPed Officials not included sa INCREASE).. these are the things that has to be addressed and not adding more financial burden to parents by adding 2 more years.

      • PLEASE READ…DepEd says that the poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of students. Results of the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), however, negate the connection of the number of years to the performance of students.
        According to results of the TIMSS, the length of schooling does not necessarily mean better scores. In fact, some countries with the same or shorter school cycle garnered the highest scores while those implementing the K-12 model or more years of schooling got lower scores.
        According to a study released by former Deputy Education Minister Abraham I. Felipe and Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) Executive Director Carolina C. Porio, the DepEd’s arguments are “impressionistic and erroneous” because there is no clear correlation between the length of schooling and students’ performance.
        The said study shows that fourth graders from Australia had respectable TIMSS scores despite having only one year of pre-schooling, while Morocco (two years of pre-school), Norway (three years) and Armenia and Slovenia (both four years) had lower scores than Australia. South Korea, which has the same length of basic education cycle as the Philippines, was among the top performers in the TIMSS, while those with longer pre-schooling (Ghana, Morocco, Botswana and Saudi Arabia, three years) had lower test scores.
        Test scores of Filipino students, meanwhile, were lower than those garnered by all 13 countries with shorter elementary cycles, namely, Russia, Armenia, Latvia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, Italy, Egypt and Iran.
        In the high school level, Singapore that also has a four-year high school cycle, got the highest score. Ironically, the Philippines got a lower score together with countries that have longer high school cycles like South Africa, Chile, Palestine, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
        For the pre-college level, the Philippines also got a low score, but so did the United States, which has a 15-year basic and secondary education cycle. Students from Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, all with shorter education cycles, got higher scores than American students.

  3. thanks for the INFO… like what is stated above.. this will be a big help for our upcoming dabate in class.. we are the negative side.. thank you! =]

  4. even though we’ve chosen the negative side of the argument in our debate in class, i still give my hand on the affirmative side because I agree for this implementation regarding the quality education here in the Philippines. Just notice the other countries, do you know that our country is lately practicing this educational program?..when you go to other countries, this educational system have been strongly practiced so that many productive individual exist in their land..they have a very good quality education..and i believe that this matter will lead to a ” quality and competitive professionals of their young and that will uplift the development of their country…ThaNK YOU.

  5. great thoughts.i am for the cons..i just want to share some of my idea about this K+12 thingy.. i think the first problem here is politics, in the provincial area politicians has the last say who are these people to mold the students education (connections: taga supporta kapartido, the under the table, kamag-anak, family friend, etc), so even the person is not qualified and there are more deserving to that item then it was decided for future uses, not to mention teachers are the one who will be assisting the voters when time of the election.am i right so it will be beneficial to them. i agree in this argument As far as the curriculum is concerned, DepEd should fix the current subjects instead of adding new ones. The problem is the content, not the length, of basic education. As an editorial put it, we need to have better education, not more education…huh…can’t imagine the pang-abay lesson in the elementary years high school and yeah in college…the physical education in high school and college and to mention a few the English subject in college that i’ve heard every year since i was in kinder whats new? nostalgia?hahha.why not insert this supposed additional program in high shool subject and take the no need ones?. also ched should try to check colleges and universities who offers education, they should monitor the schools not only the nursing since it is the future educator among all the courses. and what i don’t like in k + 12 inderectly they are pushing the filipinos to be an OFW, thats for sure because they don’t even have jobs here in ourr own land ther are just few and low cost construction jobs! so the k+12 program is basically defeat is purpose…
    and if may i ask about the bridge program tat the DEPED had 6 yrs ago?…. tnx.

  6. in addition do provincial schools have their equipped teachers have enough skills for the additional years.and who are those? how about those top schools in the country would they follow this or does their student would skip the program…?huh.may diskriminasyon ba dito sa katayuan nga buhay, pati sa edukasyon hindi pantay…kakaloka naman tong mga taong to kc laking ateneo…more research pleas…!

  7. Teachers should not be blamed for the poor quality of education we have in the Philippines…we need more instructional materials, laboratories, and most of all teacher-student ratio must be lessened to give more attention to each pupil’s needs; the textbook-pupil ratio should also be considered. Authorities implementing any rules in the DepEd must study the classroom situations first in a public school setting before deciding on any solutions.

    • Several decades ago when I was going to school, we had a dearth of instructional materials, laboratories; we also had the same issues on teacher-student ratio, as well as, textbook-pupil ratio. In fact, we didn’t have a lot of things like the media, the Internet, and the technological gizmos that we have today. But, academic performance-wise, our generation generally did better than the present and I give our teachers credit because, by and large, they were able to inspire and motivate us, students, to perform better in spite of the above-mentioned issues. Considering that at any given time, it’s simply impossible to depend on the teacher for all of the education one needs in life, yup, I would still blame the teachers of today for the poor quality of education because of their failure to inspire and challenge their students to go after what they need, to think outside the box and therefore be less dependent on their teachers/schools for their every educational need. Looking back, I got probably about 1 percent of my education from my teachers but these same teachers did inspire and motivate me to go after the other 99 percent on my own. And quite frankly, I’m still learning, thanks to my teachers for instilling in me the eternal insatiable thirst for knowledge, for “educating” me on educating myself and be incrementally better than I was yesterday.

    • correct…why blame the teachers…
      where are those instructional materials that is badly needed inside the classroom…and please the teacher-student ratio is too high (1:60 or higher)…People in the higher ups are not a product of PUBLIC SCHOOLS…kaya di alam (or BULAG) sa totoong scenario ng edukasyon sa Pilipinas

    • JUAN…ang ganda-ganda ng pangalan mo (totoo iyan) Pinoy na Pinoy…bakit ka ganyan….pakinggan mo amerikano, mali nga grammar nila minsan…Pilipinas nga ang isa sa pinakamahusay sa english language…
      Hindi English ang gamit ng masa/nakararami sa bahay….basehan ba ng talino/kakayahan ang galing magsalita sa english?…nagtatanong lang po.

  8. The objectives are good, but the program does not answer to the defects in its methodology. Personally, the program is favorable for me and other able families. The program must be in line with social realities. Visit http://www.ayoungchristianwoman.com/?p=304 to read my position on this. 

  9. maganda ang mangyayari sa edukasyon ng kabataan kun matutupad ang panukalang k+12. subalit nasa istudyante pa rin kung mag-aaral siya ng mabuti,. kailangan ng sapat o higit pang pondo para maisatupad itong k+12, dahil kung ang pasilidad ng paaralan ay hindi maganda, maaaring tamarin lalo mag-aral o pumasok ang istudyante, kakulangan sa mga guro, ang kakulangan sa aklat at ang maling pag buo ng isang pangungusap na gamit ang salitang ingles ay isa sa mga hadlang sa pag-aaral ng kabataan.
    may mga gurong nagsasabi na ipapasa nya ang isang istudyante kapalit ng isang bagay, kagaya na lamang ng pag bigay ng bintilador( isa sa kakulangan na gamit sa loob ng silid-aralan), kung matututukan lamang ng maayos ang edukasyon ng kabataan ngayon marahil ay hindi mapapariwala ang kanilang buhay.

  10. Thank You for the information: for me I think we have to consider the performance of every individual. there should be qualifying exam for those who cannot pass then should required to take k-12.mayron kasing tamad na estudyante at unfair naman sa masipag na mag-aaral na nagsikap upang mapabuti ang kanyang mga grado ang maraming skills ang mga mag-aaral na ito ay very diligent upang mapaunlad ang kanilang pag-aaral at maging magaling sa ano mang mga gawain. lalo na ang mga mahihirap na nagsisikap.
    .

  11. Pingback: Philippines Hugs K+12, Will The Program Hug Back? « Magic of Ice Cream

  12. You’re too biased saying that the madlang people are those who are for the Cons side of this issue. I am an education major in DLSU and i do not believe that this should be implemented.

    • Right on! I’m with you. First things first. Like, improve the school facilities, train most of the teachers — some are good, no question about it. But there are those who need additional training to handle the added responsibility.

      • There should be clear plan on how this will be implemented. The government is keeping the general public in the dark. Is the government willing to listen to us? We need more information to make informed comments.

        Careful planning is important.

        I am a Registered Mechanical Engineer and I took up Diploma in Teaching(30 units-includes student teaching) and have 21 units in Master in Education(Math) in UP. I teach math because I feel I can make a big difference.

        I have taught 6 years in Public H.S. and 1 year in College(Engineering School) handling Math Subjects and went back to public school this year . A common perception among teachers is that the government does not know how to prioritize . It seems the government does not have a CLEAR idea on how to solve the education problem.

        The problems in our educational system are too numerous to cite here, but the most important thing is to identify the most pressing problems and solve them first.

        Our Government has a lot of bright people from the best schools local and abroad but we are in the situation we are now due to decades of corruption. English ,Math and Sciences are important but Values Education should be emphasized too. I recommend as a required reading for all teachers, a book entitled ” Building Character in Schools”.

        I got this from a webpage:

        “About 10 years earlier, a Filipino said basically the same thing: “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.” It was a sound bite heard around the world. But what all too few recalled was the essential sentence that came next: “Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

        The same goes with our educational system.I do hope that whatever the government decides about this k-12 program, it will be implemented with a comprehensive and well prepared plan.

  13. marami pong salamat sa mga impormasyong inilatag ninyo sa pahinang ito.malaking tulong po ito sa akin.pagpalain nawa kayo ng Poong Maykapal.

  14. i am currently in research on what are the reaction of the people regarding k+12. i’m lucky to find this site at least i was able to read other comments of the people. thank you so much for those who reacted on k+12.. may it be positive or negative. good luck to all of us. good luck to our educational system. may it be k+12 or not, the only thing i’m sure is.. Filipinos are brilliant and can cope up with all changes around us.

  15. im actually researching about the reaction of many people because of our speech about this k+12 curriculum…in this program,i believe that this program in the philippines would uplift the quality of lifestyle of every filipino people….we know that this program have many factors to consider but if we will take it in a positive way we will attain the most -aspired educational standards which will play a great role in our country’s development and will therefore, uplift us from poverty. Nothing is impossible when we persist.

  16. it was a big help for every reader.. di lang para sa mga students na masipag mag aral..
    pati rin po sa mga takot mag aral. :) God Bless po and hopefully, you will still continue posting this kind of article.

  17. This can help for our debate tomorrow.
    But for me, The K+12 is in the hands of authorities also. On how they can carry it out succesfully or to teach the students properly and it is also based on the authority to sustain the necessity of the schools.

  18. the bottomline is……………it is still the attitude of the students that counts… if the students doesn’t really care about their future and their parents just let them be,no matter what curriculum we have and what approach we do, it’s still useless!!

  19. Totoo po, kailangang tingnan muna ng DEPed ang mga kakulangan sa Bawat paaralan mula sa aklat, teaching materials, rooms, teachers at iba pang mga bagay-bagay na humahadlang upang magkaroon tayo ng quality education. Ngayon nga po K to 12 ay isinasagawa na sa mga paaralan but sad to say, ni hindi nga mabigyan ng DEPed ng mga Lesson Guides at Activity Sheets ang mga guro, sariling pera ng mga guro ang ginamit upang makapagpaphotocopy ng mga lesson guides.Ang DEPed mismo ang no.1 factor affecting the quality of education in our country. Pinag-aralan bang mabuti ang mga ginawang LG? kasi naloloka kami sa mga nilalaman nito. Bakit di na lang ibalik na ang grade I ay pitong taon at ang abakada sa pagtuturo, mula kasi ng gawing 6 yrs old ang grade1 at gawing Ey Bi, Si, Di ang abakada marami na ang naging mga non-reader sa grade I

  20. I would like to comment on this article, besides from it is being required by our professor. (Permission please, tnx po).

    I am of the Pros.

    According to SEAMEO Innotech 2011, which is considered as the preferred education solutions provider in Southeast Asia and also an ISO9001: 2008 Certified, the Philippine is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries in the world with a 10-year pre-university program.

    And as a student, our subjects most especially nowadays are already congested. Student were demanding that they couldn’t bear to handle more knowledge and new learning. It should be a step by strep growth. That is also why the contents of the curriculum were not organized.

    As we knew that our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad, this indicate that we are Clearly not qualified or we did not attain their qualities besides from having poor results in ranks and/or in some statistical education ranks.

    Besides, I believe that the government has a great goal of solving the problems regarding the education our country. This may include hardship and sacrifice of our country’s very own citizens….Us.

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