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.