The following are the more recent updates/press releases regarding the soon-to-be implemented K to 12 Basic Education program taken from the “DepEd Updates” section of the the DepEd website:
In preparation for the adoption of the new curriculum under the K to 12 program, the Department of Education is conducting the Test of English Proficiency for Teachers (TEPT) and Process Skills Test (PST) in Science and Math to all Grades 1 and 2 public school teachers nationwide.
The tests, according to Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC, are part of DepEd’s assessment on the capability of public school teachers to teach the new curriculum under the K to 12 program. The Grade 1 and first year high school curriculum will debut when classes open in June 2012. “We want our teachers fully equipped when we introduce the new curriculum this school year,” he explained.
Luistro pointed out that the result of the TEPT and PST will serve as the basis for the kind of training and intervention the department will introduce this summer to fully prepare the teachers for the new curriculum.
The tests started in February 5 for NCR teachers. On Feb 12, teachers from CaLaBaRZon and MIMAROPA will take the tests; February 19 in Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley; February 26 for Regions 5 and 9; March 11 for Region 12; March 18 for Regions 6 and CARAGA; March 25 for Northern Mindanao and Davao Region; April 1 for Regions 7 and 8; April 15 for Central Luzon and CAR and April 22 for ARMM.
DepEd has jumpstarted the K to 12 program last year when it introduced the universal kindergarten program in all public schools. K to 12, as envisioned by DepEd, aims to produce high school graduates who have the competency to land a job and to be better prepared for college education and global opportunities.
Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said that while science as a subject is formally introduced in Grade 3, it remains integrated in all learning areas to steadily develop the students’ skills in understanding more complex subjects as science.
“The focus of early education (Kinder to Grade 2) should be the fundamental skills and literacy of the pupils to develop better comprehension for more complicated subjects such as science,” added Luistro.
Luistro pointed out that based on the intent of the K to 12 basic education reform program, the teaching of science is enhanced to make it even more relevant in the daily experience of the learners.
The education chief explained that science concepts/skills are integrated beginning in Kindergarten in the teaching of Languages, Mathematics, and Health under MAPEH. “It is important that our learners are able to relate science in their everyday experience whether in school or at home,” explained Luistro.
A study by the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) show that among its member-countries, the Philippines allot the most time in Science in elementary (1,100mins per week), 810 for , 360 for , 540 for . “This coupled with teaching more competencies imply congestion in our current elementary Science curriculum,” Luistro said.
Science has not been taught as a separate subject in Grades 1 and 2 (in public schools) since the 1980s. “In effect, we are merely maintaining a status quo which is to focus on fundamental skills, numeracy and literacy (reading and writing) during the early years, Luistro stressed.
Enjoyable, easily understood lessons using the language spoken at home, less contact time, and interactive.
These are just some of the features of the new curriculum for Grade 1 and first year high school students that the Department of Education will implement starting June 2012 under the K to 12 basic education reform program.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the new curriculum is centered more on the students rather on the traditional way of teaching which is focused on the teacher. “We are making it a real learning experience for the students, meaning, it will be less on memorization but more encouraging of critical thinking,” he added.
It helps that the new K to 12 curriculum will implement the mother tongue-based multi- lingual education (MTB-MLE) in studying lessons from Kinder up to Grade 3. Studies have shown that students learn better when the language used at home is the same language used in discussing class lessons. DepEd is already piloting MTB-MLE in various schools nationwide using eight major regional dialects.
DepEd’s move is part of the education reform program under the Aquino administration which seeks to produce high school graduates who are equipped with skills for the world of work, have better needed competencies for college education and ready for global opportunities.
Under the K to 12 program, the public school system will have kinder (which started in School Year 2011), six years in elementary, four years in junior high school, and two more years for senior high school where students will have more time to sharpen their employable skills.
The new curriculum for Grade 1 will only require pupils to go to school for half a day.
“From 6 hours contact time everyday, we will reduce it to four hours to make education less stressful and more enjoyable for our young learners,” Luistro explained.
Luistro stressed that schooling should be enjoyable. “It is important that our learners develop that natural love for learning and not feel that it is something imposed on them.”
On the other hand, the first year high school curriculum will be more interactive and relevant in everyday life. Science teaching, for example, will be based on its practical use.
“As students go up the ladder, we want them to learn skills that are being demanded by employers while at the same time giving them the chance to appreciate and enjoy the lessons,” Luistro expounded.
Late last year, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported:
By Tarra Quismundo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 7th, 2011
The Department of Education (DepEd) plan to extend the basic education course by two years is set to take off next school year with new curricula developed for Grade 1 and 1st Year High School in implementation of the K+12 (Kindergarten plus 12 years) program.
K+12 aims to raise the country’s basic education course to world standards and produce high school graduates ready to be employed even without a college degree.
The DepEd started the program with a kindergarten curriculum this year, reaching out to 5-year-olds to prepare them for entering the grades and curbing the early dropout rate.
“Voluntary kindergarten was introduced this school year to lay the groundwork for universal kindergarten in subsequent years. The department, along with its partners (education stakeholders), has also made considerable progress in the development of the K to 12 curriculum,” Tina Ganzon, director of the DepEd communications unit, said in response to e-mailed questions from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Inquirer was not able to interview top DepEd officials because they were all out of the country.
“The DepEd is gearing up for the introduction of the new Grades 1 and 7 (1st year high school) curricula in school year 2012-2013,” Ganzon said.
According to the DepEd plan unveiled on Oct. 5 last year, K+12, alternately called K-12 (K to 12) to represent a continuum, would restructure the basic education system with a required kindergarten, six years in elementary (Grades 1-6), four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10) and two years of senior high (Grades 11-12).
Students can choose an area of specialization in the final two years, whether it be in the performing arts, vocational training, sports, agriculture, among others.
The new curricula for Grades 2 and 8 will be introduced next in 2013. The first batch of senior high school students will enter Grade 11 in school year 2016-2017. The DepEd aims to graduate the first batch of 12th graders in March 2018.
Education officials continue to hold consultations with parents, students, businessmen and other education stakeholders across the country, the DepEd said.
“Subsequent consultation sessions will be conducted in the succeeding months to provide feedback to stakeholders on how the K to 12 leadership has addressed their concerns, and share the updated details about the K to 12 curriculum and its implementation,” Ganzon said. #