Whatever shall we do with our education system?
The central reform that the present administration wants to implement is the K to 12, a program that makes kindergarten mandatory and adds two years to the present 10-year basic education.
Today we begin our series on this program that will be implemented for the first time in June by the Department of Education.
We have invited the Secretary of Education himself to explain to our readers the logic of the reform in this issue.
Although involved in designing the Math curriculum for the K to 12 Program, Queena Lee-Chua, in her column, throws in as many views as possible to encourage more public participation in deciding the fate of this education reform.
Next week, we will talk about how private colleges and universities plan to cope with the zero-freshman enrollment resulting from the K to 12 implementation. In the ensuing weeks, we will present discussions among parents, teachers, students, school administrators and other concerned citizens on the K to 12 Program.
E-mail us your concurring or dissenting opinions, proposals, questions—what have you—at email@example.com.—CBF
By Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC
Secretary of Education
Filipinos often reminisce about the era until the 1950s when the Philippine economy was second only to Japan in Asia.
In the decades that followed, the Philippines watched itself being overtaken by countries that rebuilt themselves from war, instability and poverty, as our own continued to sink into the quagmire of disunity, destructive politics and corruption.
Correlated to the country’s economic decline is the neglect and deterioration of its educational sector. Is it any wonder that today our country has fallen from its former prestige to the bottom of most global rankings of progress and development?
The Department of Education’s K to 12 Program is one concrete response to reverse this steady decline and to move toward its goal of long-term educational reform and sustainable economic growth.
The central feature of the K to 12 Program is the upgrading of the basic education curriculum to ensure that learners acquire the relevant knowledge and skills they will need to become productive members of society. It seeks to introduce relevant skills development courses and special interest subjects that will suit the personality, strengths and career direction of each learner.
With the participation of the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the program has the capability of offering professionally designed classes and apprenticeships in sports, the arts, middle-level skills, entrepreneurship, and applied math and sciences.
Whereas the old system overemphasized the value of a college degree before employment, the new program is designed to equip every learner who graduates after senior high school (Grade 12) with the opportunity for improved employment and entrepreneurship while ensuring that the high-school graduate has the necessary competencies to pursue a college degree either immediately or at some later stage.
With an upgraded and better-equipped pool of human resource, industries will be able to find better and more qualified matches in their labor requirements.
For graduates proceeding to tertiary education, the K to 12 Program puts them at par with their international counterparts and makes them more competitive in colleges and universities both here and abroad.
Higher education institutions will gain the flexibility to offer more enriched and specialized courses in every degree program since a number of its general education courses would have already been completed in high school. This greatly advances the graduates’ chances of landing 21st-century careers and acquiring self-employment skill sets.
As in any worthwhile investment, returns are reaped only after enough time and effort.
The K to 12 Program is just the beginning of what we hope to be the answer to the Philippines’ comeback to the global stage, and a sustained path toward progress and development for its people. If we want to see our country back on the right track, we must dare take that first bold step today.
To know more about the K to 12 Basic Education Program, visit http://www.deped.gov.ph or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.