DepEd to phase in 12 years of basic education

Following is the reprint of an article dated Aug. 9, 2010 by Pia Faustino, GMANews.TV:

A. Luistro

High school graduates can be productively employed even without a college degree once two years are added to basic education, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said today.

The education chief recently announced his plan to implement President Noynoy Aquino’s agenda of increasing the basic education cycle from the current 10 years to 12 years, a plan that he referred to as the “enhanced K+12 basic education program.”

He explained that “K” refers to “Kindergarten” while the number “12″ refers to the sum of seven years of grade school and five years of high school.

He said that these reforms will be implemented gradually over a number of years and may go beyond the term of the current or even next administration.

Luistro said that the Department of Education (DepEd) is currently working on a concept paper that will outline the proposed revisions to the public school curriculum and how these will be implemented and funded. He added that DepEd will present the proposal to the public on October 5, 2010, which is World Teachers’ Day, so that all education stakeholders can give their feedback.

Luistro said that these reforms will aim to ensure that future high school graduates are ready to be productively employed even without completing college.

“The current thinking and the current culture in the Philippines is that if you don’t finish with a college degree, there is something missing in your life. What should basic education be? To me, what is basic is that [high school graduates] should be able to live a meaningful life, they should be able to be prepared to start a family, and thirdly they should be able to be productively employed,” explained Luistro.

He added that the DepEd will explore how public schools can better develop Filipino’ students skills and talents in the arts, sports, agriculture, fisheries, and in technical or vocational fields, among others.

“Perhaps our current curriculum is too academic in orientation,” said Luistro. “What are the needs of industry? You need to match that with the gifts, resources, and interests of young people.”

Re-examine reform priorities

But some educators believe that DepEd should re-examine its reform priorities.

“Our immediate focus should be just improving basic education. The dropout rate is very, very high and the quality of education is very, very low,” says Milwida Guevara, chief executive officer of Synergeia, an NGO that focuses on improving the quality of public school education through greater local government support.

Guevara said that DepEd should focus instead on improving the quality of education in kindergarten, pre-school, and in grades one to four of elementary school. She added that adding two years to the education cycle “will address the problem of the lack of quality of students in the high school, and also in the university, but it does not address the problem in earlier years of schooling.”

She said that as many as 30 percent of students who enter grade one drop out before grade six, and that these figures are higher in some areas of Mindanao. “It’s too late to have an intervention after grade six,” she said.

DepEd’s proposal also drew mixed reactions from visitors to the GMANews.TV Facebook Fan Page.

“Add two more years for high school? Para sa apat na years na high school nga lang, kulang na ang budget ng mga magulang. Dadagdagan mo pa ng dalawa? And besides, from the start,hindi naman ‘yung years ang problema, kundi ung kakulangan ng libro and materials para sa mga students, pati na rin ung kakulangan sa teachers,” said Facebook user Kevin Taboada.

(Parents can hardly afford to pay for four years of high school, and yet they want to add two more years? Besides, the number of years is not the problem. It’s the lack of books and educational materials for students, and the lack of teachers.)

Other Facebook users believed the proposal would help make Filipino graduates more globally competitive.

Dubai-based OFW Hannah Zipporah Tayo said, “Natapos ko ang 10 years high school standard sa ‘Pinas, and I had to pursue further studies in Dubai. None of the universities and colleges accepted me, kasi ‘di nila recognize ang 10 years standard. Siguro nga kailangan ng upgrade ang curriculum!”

(I finished ten years of high school in the Philippines, and I had to pursue further studies in Dubai. None of the universities and colleges accepted me because they did not recognize my ten years of education. I think the curriculum should be upgraded!)

Dennis Montas Lorejo, a Filipino who teaches in the United States, wrote, “To conform with the global standard, we must move to a 12-year basic education. Also, strengthen the teachers knowledge and skills so that they may bring better instructions to their students. Upgrade the school facilities, impose the use of technology in schools, raise teachers salary, and a lot more. But we must start with something, right?”

April Joy Cruz said, “Quality is better than quantity. Tingin ko, kahit dagdagan ng two years, pero ang situation ng mga public school students na 60 to 80 students per class, walang upuan at libro, para lang nagsasayang ng oras sa eskwelahan kung wala rin naman matututunan.”

(We can add two years, but for as long as classrooms still have to be shared by 60 to 80 students, and for as long as these students have no books or chairs to use, our students will be wasting their time learning nothing.) – HS, GMANews.TV

49 thoughts on “DepEd to phase in 12 years of basic education

  1. This is a follow-up article dated August 11, 2010 by GMANews.TV:

    DepEd to detail K-12 education plan on Oct. 5

    The Department of Education will present, two months from now, all the details of the planned shift to a 12-year basic education system, Malacanang said Tuesday after the proposal to add two years to the current 10-year basic education drew criticism anew.

    Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the DepEd will have the details of the so-called K-12 or kindergarten to 12th grade plan available on October 5, which is Teachers’ Day.

    The K-12 plan, which is part of President Benigno Aquino III’s proposed educational reforms, was criticized by some quarters who said the current 10-year basic education system should be improved first. (See: Teachers wary of ‘trial-and-error’ 12-year educ program)

    “Ang gagawin po ni [DepEd Secretary] Bro. Armin Luistro para maayos po lahat, on October 5 ilalahad po niya buong istraktura ng K-12 program including the financials para maipaliwanag sa taumbayan lalo na sa mga magulang kung ano talaga ibig sabihin ng K-12 insofar as the expenses are concerned,” Lacierda said in a press briefing.

    (So that everything is in order, Bro. Armin Luistro will explain on October 5 the whole structure of the K-12 program including the financials so the public, especially parents, will know exactly the implications of K-12 insofar as the expenses are concerned.)

    Lacierda also assured the public that the government will shoulder most of the costs as it involves basic education.

    “Essentially this is basic education, and this is free,” he said.

    The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, non-government organization Synergeia, and various observers have said the government should work on improving the quality of basic education first before adding more years.

    Aquino had advocated the addition of two more years to basic education to keep up with global standards, to make even high school graduates employable, and to enable students to have more time to choose which careers best suit their abilities, among other reasons. (See: Corruption in DepEd is a major challenge for Aquino)

    Previous administrations had tried but failed to add mandatory additional years to basic education.

    Senator Edgardo Angara, who heads the Senate committee on education, arts, and culture, said he is “ultimately” in favor of the proposed 12-year education plan.

    “We’ve got to equalize our years… everybody else has 12 years,” Angara told reporters in an interview on Tuesday, arguing that only the Philippines and one other country in the world today supposedly are not yet following the 12-year structure of basic education.

    He likewise defended the plan, saying that it wasn’t “anti-poor.”

    “In the end, it’s going to help the poor because the poor gets its fighting chance in quality education. The worst thing to do to the poor is to deprive them of health and education,” he said.

    The senator noted, however, that this doesn’t mean that the plan should be implemented immediately. He said that there are “more pressing” issues facing education.

    “We can plan siguro (maybe) in two to three years time (then) we add one year,” he said, noting that where you add the two years is key.

    “That kind of decision is important… those are things we ought to decide if we intend to resolve those issues when our committees organize,” he said.

    [–Jam Sisante with Kimberly Jane T. Tan/JV, GMANews.TV]

    • is PNoy aware of the constitution of the Philippines with regards to education? it is clearly said there that elementary education shall be from 6-7 years only and besides, kahit naman ipatupad nila ngayon ang K+12 curriculum, useless pa rin! di nga mabigyan ng sapat na pondo ang mga public schools eh! maybe, the students can gain more knowledge but did PNoy ever think about the potential problems that we face by expanding the current 10-year basic ed curriculum to K+12?

      • The k-12 program is inevitable. All countries with highly progressive industries, and technology invested in skills training and education through the 13 years of their basic education program. The only way to move forward is to be able to enhance knowledge and skills of the greater number of the younger population to benefit from this human capital. The benefits of this are all long term. Russia started their 13 years specialized-program as early as 1828. The American Industrial revolution was also propelled by the number of skilled people-both in foods, manufacturing, auto, construction, etc. The Taiwan Industrial phenomenon was the same, as much as South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia-which gives national test 3-4 times within the 13 year basic education, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and even China started their 13 years-basic education in 1980’s. Their LEADERs were able to see the benefits of the K-12 program even with the EFA 1993, which Cory Aquino joined. In 1993, Philippines was the only one who failed to see the greater benefits of the program it would bring for every household. We are now 20 years behind our Asian neighbors, and from 1970-2011, we fail to acknowledge the truth that our graduates have always been discriminated because of the lack of skills and education in the basic level. In fact, even today, 2012, our Baccalaureate graduates are still categorized as High school graduates. Let us practice reflective thinking-let us analyse and accept mistakes in the past but let us also reflect and plan to do the right things and act on it for a better future. Let us stop the blaming: “no money, no teacher, no classroom,” all the other countries had the same problem, but there are always solution to the problem. Ultimately, there should be better policies and implementation. Lack of FORESIGHT indeed, coupled with lack of education truly made our country poor. Let the DepEd do its job for the greater and common good of all and let us stop thinking about our self-interests. Our OFW’s have suffered enough. If we cannot have K-12, we will eventually reach the point of OBSOLESCENCE. Education and Industry must always work together to ensure relevant curriculum. We have already stopped our progress for 20-40 years, its time to move forward. Let us embrace change.

  2. Yes! I strongly agree!… .. Yes to k-12 basic education. It’s for the students’ future. We accept the fact that some of the HS graduates are having difficulty finding a job because they only attained basic education. Now, with the help of K-12 basic education, they can find job easily under the diploma of K-12 basic education. It’s for the student’s progress when it comes to education.

    • It’s not really in reality because there many college graduates now who were unemployed. What more can a high school graduate do for a chance of employment with a k+12 program? what the goverment should do is to prioritize employment enough to accomodate the graduates now a days in different fields.

  3. Now, that’s a bit of a stretch considering these high school graduates from the proposed K+12 basic education program will have to compete with an oversupply of college graduates who have difficulty finding jobs themselves. So, then, instead of just college graduates competing for jobs, it will be high school graduates PLUS college graduates who will be competing for those jobs. And you thought DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro’s logic was fundamentally sound, but obviously those ducks are not in a row. Unless those jobs will just miraculously materialize to absorb the suddenly bigger number of high school and college graduates! Anyone with a little common sense can use his ten fingers to figure that…

  4. talaga nman puro pahirap ang naiisip na solusyon sa mga problema ng bayan natin, hirap na nga makpag-aral and mga batang mahihirap ni sa public skul, dadagdagan p ng 2 years, (PWEEEEE!!!!!!!!), maliwanag n pakana n nman ng mga negosyante yan, walang dudda, d b mr.Secretary, d kya namumuhunan din kayo sa mga private sku, kung hindi man, di nyo b naiisip n dgdag gastos yan sa mga mahihirap n pamilya, bakit d nyo pgtuunan ng pansin and basic solution, dagdagan ang mga titsers and classrooms para mabawasan ang number of students per class, npakasimple, (mga bw#$%$#@^^&*&^%%$$#@), tigan nyo mga curiculum natin, palitan nyo n, mga bulok n, bakit kailangan pang pg-aralin si rizal sa college, mula elem to hs tapos hanggang colege p, sobra na nga gang hs ang pag-aaral natin sa pambansang bayani, dont you get it, 2 buong taon sa 2 aklat lng ni rizal ubos. idilat nyo mga mata nyo, dapat pgdating sa college most of the subjects ay very absolute kung anong curso kinukuha mo, d n dpat yung mga palamuting subjects lng sa mga activities, lagyan ng actual training. ang daming naisisrang panahon at pera sa mga walang kwentang curiculum existing today, mag-isip nman kayo, wag yung puro kabig. kung kumukuha ako engineering, kailangan ko p ulit pag-isipan si rizal, o ang sariling salita (Pilipino) na pwede nman sa HS in madami ta;aga n di n kailangan pag-aralin if ur taking up a course, then lately, d mo talaga kailangan pg on practice k n………strategy ang kailangan, d business profit…..DAPAT TAYONG LAHAT KONTRAHIN NATIN ANG HAKBANG NG ATING GOBYERNO TUNGO DITO, D YUNG PG ANJAN N TSAKA TAYO REREKLAMO, KUNG KAILANGANG BOMBAHIN ANG DEPED OFFICE, GAWIN PARA MATAUHAN….


    • @Bruce i get your point, but try to look in other perspective… like.

      Marami sa atin pilit pinag-aaral ng magulang hanggang college anak nila or kahit associate lang na 2yrs, but ano nakukuha nilang work? Service Crew sa isang food chain, etc?

      Ok lang ba sa iyo na magwork ka as Janitor or manual work kahit may title kang 2yrs Deploma kuno?

      Ano mas magastos, 2 yrs College tuition or 2 yrs Secondary Tuition in Public.

      Kung grad ka ng K-12, at pwede ka na makapag work as Service Crew sa mga food chain or kung mapasok ka as Janitor or mga manual work.

      So ano much better a High School graduate of K-12 working as Service Crew or
      2yrs in College Eduction associate working as Service Crew??

      Baka nga mahiya ka sabihin na 2yrs college ka at nagwowork as Service Crew eh.

      Alam nyo ba kung bakit Maraming Walang Trabaho College Graduate???
      DAHIL marami masyadong Maarte na ma PRIDE pah!

      Madalas ka makarinig na 4yrs College grad. ako bakit ako pagtra-trabahuhin ng ganito ganyan. Or Nakapag 2yrs college ako bakit ako papasok sa ganito at ganyang work etc.
      Or iyong gumastos ako para maka pag college tapos eto lang trabaho at sweldo ko??

      Kung ako mas gugustuhin ko pa taasan ang Tuition sa mga Universities para wala ng mahihirap na pumilit na mag college graduate kahit alam nila hindi na nila kaya financially and mentally.
      Masasayang lang pera nila sa Matrikula, mostly pinang lalakwatsa lang ng iba na hindi naman seryoso sa pag-aaral.

      Kahit na K-12 lang inabot nya instead na mag University pa sya hasain nalang nya ang talent nya ng 2yrs kesa pumasok pa sya sa University na masasayang lang pera at panahon.

      Kung magaling kang Karpentero paghusayin mo nalang pagiging karpentero mo kesa kukuha ka ng nursing or computer pagka graduate walang mapasukan.

      Kung i apply ang K-12 dapat pag tuntong sa College or University… Puro Major subjects nalang.

      At iyong mga manual work or mga labor tulad ng service crew etc, minimum req. nila K-12.

  5. Bruce: Salamat sa pagdalaw mo dito at sa iniwan mong komentario. Naintindihan ko ang patunguhan ng inyong isinulat. Ang aking mungkahi’y basahin mo iyong magkasunod na komentario ni Dr. Abraham I. Felipe, retiradong Deputy Minister ng DepEd, tungkol sa paksang K+12 sa ‘Philippine Education Research Journal’:

    at ang kanyang orihinal na sanaysay, “Length of School Cycle and the “Quality” of Education” (

    Ang kasalukoyang posisyon ng DepEd at si Pres. Aquino tungkol sa K+12 ay natukoy sa opinion article Ni Nicki Tenazas: ‘The Economics of K+12’ na matatagpuan dito:

  6. I would like to know about health practices of public school teachers . Is there any dep ed order that supports the health programs for teachers?

  7. para saken tutol din ako,maski po ung mga classmates ko…… alam nio po na masaya ako kac malapit na akong mag-graduate kac ilang taon na lang……pero nacra un kac baka abutan kami ng k+12,,,,,ung years na iidadagdag nio mapagaaralan po ba namin ung gus2 naming pagaralan tulad ng criminology……..? kung sa kaling makapag tapos kami ng pagaaral,makakapag trabaho ba kami ng gus2 naming trabaho tulad ng pulis o teaches at etc., ung years na idadagdag nio na sana ipangco-college namin un…
    alam ko na may point din kau…

    • Actually, making it possible to look for a job after completing the proposed K+12 program is one of the arguments being used by the K+12 proponents. However, you have to realize that whoever graduates from the proposed K+12 will be just a high school graduate competing with the hordes of supposedly more qualified college graduates. So, do the math.

  8. for me, i would agree K-12 Basic Ed…

    Because, like what other says many of graduated are unemployed bec of lack of knowledge.. or maybe they dont know how to say in interviewm some like that.. Unprepared… Mashado pa bata para maggraduate nang maaga..

    ung sinabi na nasa Dubai, she wasn’t recognized because she finished only 10yr basic ed.. Even i know someone that migrated in US, fresh graduate of highschool here, he/she wasn’t accepted to enter to university/college because he/she have to complete another 2 yr of basic ed..

    it would be great to have K-12 in Philippines to able to my future son/daughter to have a bright future/career of their own..

    yes, i know, to the poor family, it will be the financial problem, but i think, the deped will give them orientation to explain elaborately the advantages of K-12, they will understand and it will be helpful to have their children to have a bright future and improve their knowledge and good communication skill and also it will help them to decide very well for what they want to take up in college…

    that’s it

    I hope this will be helpful… And Go ako sa K-12
    thank you very much

  9. increasing the years in high school will not solve problems of unemployment, social responsiveness and academic competitiveness. kahit pa 20 taon ang basic education kung ang mga nagtuturo naman ay hindi effective/efficient at kung ang mga silid aralan ay puno ng 40-50 na mga mag-aaral, kung ang 1 aklat ay gamit ng 2 estudyante, kung kulang ang mga kagamitan sa mga asignatura ukol sa industriya ( TLE / Home Economics etc na sinasabi ni DEPED Sec) … eh di wala pa ring kwenta hindi ba? mas mabuting pag tuunang pansin ang mga problema sa kakulangan ng mga paaralan, aklat, teknolohiya, mga guro, training ng mga guro at motibasyon sa parte ng mga mag aaral.

  10. as i read all those comments and explanations i rather say K+12 is not the key to solve low quality of education…i would agree to the statement of Ben…

  11. In my later post, Attention – K+12: ‘NOT the Years Spent in a Classroom’, I featured the “World Bank Education Strategy 2020“ released by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) for comment (comment phase already closed). In blunt terms, it’s an appeal “to governments, donors, community leaders, and employers to focus more on education that prepares young people for the jobs market rather than on the time they spend in school.” The Strategy says: “while a diploma may open doors to employment, it is a worker‘s skills that determine his or her productivity and ability to adapt to new technologies and opportunities.”

  12. let us give a chance to the government. they are trying their best for us Filipinos to be globally competitive. but honestly speaking kung ngayon nga e ang mga upuan ng mga nasa public school especially in the provinces… ma didismaya ka talaga… well… lets see…. tsk kay ben hindi ako komporme sayo about sa sinabi mo na hindi effective ang mga nagtuturo… bakit wala bang natutunan ang anak mo kahit single word? teachers nga ba ang 1 sa mga factors? why don’t you assess yourself as a parent. all out support ka po sa needs ng anak nyo. na ga guide nyo po ba ng mga environmental factors na yan. there are so many factors that affects the learning of children, and the most of them is poverty.

  13. ako’y naniniwala na minsan ang intelligence ay namamana, nasa genes ng tao at minsan naman nasa pagsisikap bilang isang studyante para maging isang produktibong tao at mamamayang pilipino…

  14. ..ang masasabi ko lng……

    “nasa TAO ang problema”… STRATEGY n ng tao ang paghahanap ng trabaho.. hnd na kailangan ang K-12 n yan!…

    …kung tamad din lng ung studyante.. k12 is useless!

    • saidoh: sa kalahatan ng kuro-kurong inilantad dini, ang iyo’y pinakamaliwanag na tinig ng katotohanan! lalo na sa atin, ang mga nag-aantay palagi sa saklolo ng gobiyerno’y masuerte pag matulongan, kaya nga lang madalas nang iwanan ng oportunidad yong ibang madla na ipaubaya ang kanilang kinabukasan sa pag-aantay sa saklolo. Meron tayong kasabihan: God helps those who help themselves. To quote Pres. Barack Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

  15. sa ngayon hindi ako sang ayon sa k+12 hindi nga natin kayang iaccomodate ang bilang ng estudyante para mabigyan ng sapat na classroom at tamang dami ng guro nagdagdag pa tayo ng taon..paano matuto eh halos 80 sa isang room?meron ngang konti nasa ilalim naman ng mangga!!!yang k12 na yan!!Idagdag nila yan sa bilang ng taong parusa sa mga pulitikong corrupt tuwing may school building na ipapagawa!!!

  16. you know k+12 is not really the answer from being poor or useless. yes, its a great help but think as a practical person remember that phillipines is 3rd world country and only few can afford that! maybe, next time when we are ready and we have already have quality teachers and education then that is the right time to have an upgrade!

  17. I strongly agree with the K12 program. I am an ESL teacher here in Thailand and they have the K12 program and all the rest in Asia and the world. My British, Canadian and American colleagues said they also have the K12 system. If the Philippines will not implement the K12 program, do we mean to say that we have a better educational system than the rest of the world? K12 must be implemented now to cope up with the world’s standard and to be competitive.

  18. if we want quality education, let’s not think about the length of years or additional financial burden. what’s important is the substance of what we are doing and its produce in the long run. let’s not settle for mediocrity but high above it therefore go for k-12 basic education.

  19. Hindi kaya’t paraan lamang ito ng administrasyon upang lumagak ng mas madaming pondo para kuno sa edukasyon? Madami ngang bata ang mas pinipiling di mag-aral at di sila papipigil sa kanilang kagustuhan, dadagdagan pa nila ng isang taon. Ni hindi nga kaya ng maraming pamilya ang sistema ngayon, dadagdagan pa nila ng isang taon. Hindi na nga magkandaugaga ang mga guro sa pagtuturo, ang mga aklat ay sira at mali-mali, madaming umaasa sa mas mataas na marka sa pagbili ng ice candy at tinapay na tinda ni ma’am, dadagdagan pa nila ng isang taon.

  20. Ang mahirap kasi satin laging sa bad side tumitingin,,,le’s be positive. What evry leader needs is positive criticism and support. Ang galing natin magsalita pero tau ba my nagagawa?

  21. pahabol:

    ang mga bansa na nag umpisa sa k-12 ay nagdaan din sa mga obstacles na sinasabi ng mga reactors sa planong ito. ngunit ngayon may narating na rin sila dahil alam nila na ang k-12 ay may patutunguhan ikabubuti ng basic education natin. sana naman, for the benefit of the doubt, for the nth time, bigyan natin ng chance mapatunayan ito. sa tantiya ko, deadend na rin ang status quo na gusto nating ipreserve kahit na hindi talaga nakaka solve sa mga paulit ulit na problema natin.

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