MANILA, Philippines—Engineering courses will be shortened from five to four years, while other four-year college courses may also be shortened as a result of having two additional years of high school under the K to 12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12) reform.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) anticipates that the curriculum for general education (GE) subjects, which are taken up during the first two years of college, will be shortened to only one year since those subjects are expected to be taken up in senior high school (Grades 11 to 12).
“There’s a proposal to shorten (the GE curriculum) considerably. There will be some changes because the GE will be devolved to Grades 11 and 12,” CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said in an interview.
She said CHEd has formed technical panels of experts from the academe, related industry and government regulators for every collegiate discipline.
These panels are now crafting a new curriculum for their respective courses in preparation for the nationwide implementation of the two-year senior high school in 2016.
“Part of the proposal is to limit (the) GE (curriculum) to one year. It’s still only a proposal but (the review is) ongoing,” Licuanan said.
Regardless of one’s course, college students are made to take the general education (GE) subjects on communication, math, science, history, physical education, etc. usually in their first two years in school before they can take up specialized subjects for their respective courses.
Licuanan said the technical panels from the different disciplines would decide how a shortened GE curriculum would affect their curriculum.
But when asked, she confirmed that at least engineering courses would likely be shortened.
“Engineering will be shortened from five to four (years). (But shortening the curriculum) is not across the board,” the CHEd chair stressed.
“I don’t predict that too many (courses) will be shortened. But I also feel there are certain disciplines that don’t need four years,” Licuanan said without mentioning specific courses.
With a shortened GE curriculum “then maybe they can make do (with a shorter curriculum),” she added.
“But other (disciplines) complain how stacked the curriculum is so they can’t put in more of their subjects. They can say we can put in more major subjects,” Licuanan said.
She said their target has been to finalize the new curriculum by 2014, ahead of the Department of Education’s target for the nationwide roll-out of an added senior high school in 2016.
Licuanan said the technical panels have been undertaking consultations before presenting a revised curriculum for CHEd’s approval.
Implemented in 2012, the K to 12 program has revised the basic education curriculum from 10 years to 12 years covering kindergarten, six years of elementary (Grade 1 to 6), four years of junior high school (Grade 7 to 10) and the additional two years of senior high school (Grade 11 to 12).
DepEd is coming out with the revised curriculum for every elementary and high school level by phases, starting with Grades 1 and 7 this year and Grades 2 and 8 in 2013.
DepEd has not said when it will come out with the curriculum for senior high school.
DepEd’s Bureau of Secondary Education Director Lolita Andrada, who chairs the curriculum revision committee, said they would evaluate this month the curriculum undertaken by the 30 schools that piloted the Grade 11 this school year.
Andrada said they have been considering giving schools “flexibility” in designing and implementing their senior high school programs, with the DepEd coming out only with “policy guidance.”
“What’s shaping up is a system allowing schools to be creative. In the past, the DepEd designs the curriculum and imposes it. But (now) we’ll be designing the implementing guidelines but we’ll allow schools to be creative,” Andrada said.