People changing attitude toward K-12–DepEd


MANILA, Philippines—When will K-12 (Kindergarten to Year 12) be implemented? Does my daughter have to go to senior high school?

With less three weeks before school returns, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to receive questions from parents and students about the basic education reform program. The common question is how the program will be implemented.

And while K-12 still comes under criticism, the DepEd says public acceptance of the program is growing. It says there has been wider understanding of the program since nationwide consultations started more than a year ago.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Assistant Education Secretary Jesus Mateo said the private sector, including private schools and businessmen, also showed support for K-12.

Changing perception

“You’ll see that people’s perception about K-12 is changing. The issue is acceptability and understanding, and it appears that more people now believe that it can be done,” Mateo said.

“More people now understand and more people now accept,” Mateo said. “Of course, understanding is different from acceptance,” he added.

A key education reform of the Aquino administration, K-12 is designed to develop highly qualified, employable high school graduates by adding two years of specialization, designated as senior high school, to the current 10-year basic education cycle.

In senior high, students can choose from various fields of specialization, including technical-vocational skills, agriculture, music and the arts, and sports.

A year will also be added to the present six-year elementary school.

Revised curriculum

The DepEd will introduce a revised curriculum by phases, starting with new content for Grades 1 and 7 school year 2012-2013.

The additional levels will be introduced in the next few years, with senior high school starting by school year 2016-2017.  Incoming freshmen in June will be the first class to take the two additional years in high school.

“We should clarify that the implementation of K-12 is phasing,” Mateo said. “We can’t do it in one shot.  And we don’t even pretend we can do it in one shot.”

Parents, students or anyone who would like to learn more about K-12 may log on to the DepEd’s website,, and find the link to an explanation of the program, Mateo said.  They may also inquire at the nearest school division or regional office.

Militant student groups, however, continue to oppose K-12, saying the government is rushing its implementation despite teacher, classroom and textbook shortages.

“The union stands firm in its evaluation of the K-12 program as a decoy program implemented to try and fool people into thinking that the education crisis is being addressed,” Isabelle Baguisi, secretary general of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, said.

“But the alarming problems with curriculum revisions and additions, coupled with the still prevalent lack of teachers and facilities, are telling of how much the K-12 program is not really helping anything at all,” Baguisi said.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino urged the government to first deal with the shortages in textbooks, teachers, classrooms and other critical learning resources before adding two more years to high school.

The Aquino administration, Palatino said in a statement, has yet to launch a program that effectively solves the teacher, classroom and textbook shortages.

“How can basic education qualitatively function amid these dire shortages?” he asked.

He pointed out that students cannot properly learn without teachers, classrooms, chairs, and textbooks.

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  • Nic Legaspi

    I think private schools would naturally throw their support behind this program since there will be more opportunities to charge students with exorbitant tuition fees.

    • raulignacio

      more years, more tuition, more books, more supplies, more biz.

      • dell reyes

        more fun..

  • Joey

    whether people admit it or not, this has to be done.  the philippines is THE ONLY country in the world that has less than 12 years of pre-college education.  this means that the current basic education curriculum is too congested. we cannot even introduce topics like basic computer skills in the high school program because the school calendar and school day are already too long as it is.

    if you go to other countries, you will find that all of their high school graduates are qualified to apply for entry-level jobs such as bank tellers, clerks, cashiers, data encoders, etc.  it is only in the Philippines that applicants are required to be at least at the college level, which simply reflects the fact that even filipino hiring managers acknowledge that being a high school graduate in the philippines is NOT ENOUGH for people to land even an entry-level job!!!

    • labcu

      the problem is not on the number of years in school but the problem of no opportunities for employment in the country. The additional 2 years will not solve unemployment unless the government will provide a radical change on the economic, social and political environment of the country.

      • dell reyes

        Unemployment will be there even in our lifetime.. in so right skills and knowledge to address such issue must begin now with K-12..

      • labcu

        of course not, what do you think of those graduates who spend just 14 years in school no stock knowledge and no right skills? One need not to be an expert or specialist rather one must be a generalist to compete in the complex world of market!

  • Al Calde

    with K-12 will the class times be shortened then?.

    most schools here in Europe starts at 8:50 then finishes at 1530H for high school and 1430 for elementary… 

    unlike the Phils set-up which starts at 0730H and ends at 1630H both for elementary and HS….

  • dipakosigurado

    Isa na namn itong propaganda para palitawin na tinatanggap na ito ng mga tao…magtanung-tanong nga kayo sa mga totoong tao…at kahit isa, wala kang makakausap na mas gusto ito!
    Sino kayang bobo nakaisip nito…? I lived in the US for 33 years, and because of their mindset,
    this system works well over there, but it will not here, it will only add two more years of
    unappreciable, questionable at best “improvement” in the quality of graduates…kahit dagdagan mo pa yan ng 4 na taon, kung ang mga bata, ay hindi mag-aaral…walang kuwenta din pag- graduate nila…puro papogi points lang ito, ang nakaklungkot, kinagat naman ng administration!

  • jeu_j

    Dep-Ed approved the K12 to discouraged the third generation not to go to college anymore and just go for
    technical-vocational skills, agriculture, music and the arts, and sports. 

    They knew that most of the Filipinos now can not afford to continue college education due to poverty of 40% of the citizen. Filipino ”can”….”IF” their parent prepared in advance the ”College Educational Plan” like the (bankrupt) CAP. 

    Just imagine if ever your parent can afford you to reach college education. What age are you going to graduate in college? Plus ….looking for a fine job that suit to your profession. Then what age are you going to have a family and also have a child? Sure….your child who graduated in college, then became parent he/she can not afford to raise them to higher education    
    because of their age.

    If the teacher or professor are also not the best intelligent mentor….tsk..tsk..tsk…what you would expect your child got????? You will notice now that the Dep-Ed is issuing the closure order of some of school.  

    So…our government must find ways how the Philippines will generate jobs and amend the age working limit like Singapore implement. 

  • Edward Solilap

    Ang mga negosyante at mga private school e ok sa kanila kc pabor naman talaga sa kanila ito e sa mga hindi makabayad ng tuition kahit sa Public school paano kaya nila ma-take ito mabuti sana paggraduate mo e sweldohan ka kaagad ng malaki e maghahanap ka pa ng trabaho at malamang DH pa rin ang bagsak mo kawawang Juan parang majuan-time uli sa raket ng DepEd a ay naku puro ofw pa rin tayo sa bandang huli.

  • Jennifer Lejos

    There’s always criticism in any transformation initiative.  But to those who think it should really be implemented, just keep on going.

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