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Philippine Curriculum Development

Philippine Curriculum Development



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philippines curriculum development
philippines curriculum development

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Published by: martygalvez on Aug 31, 2009
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legislation and 
The education sector (along with other government agen-cies) has the task of contributing to the achievement of na-tional
development goals espoused in the country
sdevelopment plan. The general purpose and goals of edu-cation in the Philippines have been cited in the nationalconstitution. Section 3(2), Article XIV of the Constitutionstates that:
 All educational institutions shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for humanrights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in thehistorical development of the country, teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual val-ues, develop moral character and personal discipline, en-courage critical and creative thinking, broaden scientificand technological knowledge and promote vocational ef- ficiency.
These goals have been translated into educational policiesand further elaborated as the basic (elementary and sec-ondary) education framework.
 Elementary and secondary education
The 1982 Education Act identifies the aims of both ele-mentary and secondary education. For
educa-tion, the aims are: (a) to provide the knowledge anddevelop the skills, attitudes and values essential to person-al development and necessary for living in and contribut-ing to a developing and changing social milieu; (b) toprovide learning experiences which increase the child
sawareness of and responsiveness to the changes in and justdemands of society and to prepare him/her for construc-tive and effective involvement; (c) to promote and inten-sify the child
s knowledge of, identification with, and lovefor the nation and the people to which he/she belongs; and(d) to promote work experiences which develop thechild
s orientation to the world of work and creativity andprepare him/her to engage in honest and gainful work.The regional level basic education aims and objectivesreflect those at the national level, but are modified to suitlocal conditions and concerns. For
educationthe aims are: (a) the provision of general education thatwas started at the elementary level; and (b) the preparationof students for college and/or the world of work.Estimated population (1995)Public expenditure on education aspercentage of Gross National Product(1995)Duration of compulsory education(years)67,800,0002.26
Primary or basic education
Pupils enrolled (1995)Teachers (1995)Pupil/teacher ratioGross enrolment ratio (1995)
FemaleNet enrolment ratio (1995)
FemaleEstimated percentage of repeaters(1992)
Estimated percentage of drop-outs(1995)School-age population out of school(1995)11,541,570
Secondary education
Students enrolled (1995)Gross enrolment ratio (1995)
Third-level enrolment ratio (1995)
Estimated adult literacy rate (1995)
Female959594Notes:1.Last year available.
Curriculum development
 Bella O. Mariñas and Maria Pelagia Ditapat 
Source: UNESCO statistical yearbook, 1998,
Curriculum policies and legislation
policies are usually
set forth by the Depart-ment of Education, Culture and Sports through various or-ders, circulars, memoranda and bulletins. They arealigned with national priorities and contribute to theachievement of development goals. However, severallaws passed by the national legislature specifically relateto the school curriculum: Section 3(10), Article XIV of the Constitution mandates the study of the PhilippineConstitution; Section 6, Article XIV, designates Filipinoas the language of instruction; Section 19(2), Article XIV,states that:
All educational institutions throughout thecountry shall undertake regular sports activities in co-op-eration with athletic clubs and other sectors
. RepublicAct No 4723 mandates music teaching in the schools. Themost recent curriculum-specific laws designate: (a)lengthening of the school calendar from 185 to not lessthan 200 school days per school year; and (b) integrationof concepts on human rights, the environment, dangerousdrugs and computer education
The Basic Education System
Basic education in the Philippines is free and compulsoryat the elementary level only. The basic education systemin the Philippines is composed of six years of elementaryand four years of secondary education
a total of tenyears. Compared to many countries, this is a relativelyshort time period. Filipinos complete their basic educationat the age of 16 or 17 years. They then proceed to institu-tions of higher learning to obtain a post-secondary voca-tional/technical institution degree or a certificate. Table 1provides a general overview of the country
s basic educa-tion situation.Elementary and secondary schools are either govern-ment-supported or privately-funded. At the elementarylevel, the government schools constitute 92% of the total;at the secondary level, their share is 60%. The schoolyear in the Philippines begins on the first Monday of Juneand ends on the last Friday of March. The school year forthe elementary and secondary levels consist of not lessthan 40 weeks or 200 days. Class sessions are held Mon-day to Friday and the school year is divided into fourgrading periods.
 Administrative structures of curriculum development
The education system is decentralized. The central/na-tional office is engaged in policy formulation; while theregional and the division offices are the implementingbodies. Supervision of schools is accomplished at the re-gional and sub-regional levels.THE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
 Administrative structures of curriculum development
Development of the basic education level curriculum isthe responsibility of the Central Office Bureau of Elemen-tary and Secondary Education, Curriculum DevelopmentDivisions. This bureau defines the learning competenciesfor the different subject areas; conceptualizes the structureof the curriculum; formulates national curricular policies.These functions are exercised in consultation with otheragencies and sectors of society (e.g. industry, socio-civicgroups, teacher-training institutions, professional organi-zations, school administrators, parents, students, etc.).The subject offerings, credit points and time allotmentsfor the different subject areas are also determined at thenational level. In this sense, a national curriculum exists inthe Philippines.However, while curriculum implementation
sare issued at the
national level, the actual
is left to school-teachers. They determine the resources tobe used; teaching and assessment strategies and otherprocesses. Furthermore, schools have the option to modi-fy the national curriculum (e.g. content, sequence andteaching strategies) in order to ensure that the curriculumresponds to local concerns.
 Language of instruction
bilingual policy
is in use whereby both English and Fil-ipino
are instructional mediums. At the elementary level,English language, science and health are taught in Eng-lish; while Filipino, civics and culture, good manners andright conduct (GMRC/character education), home eco-nomics, livelihood education, music, art and physical ed-ucation are taught in Filipino. At the secondary level,English language, science, mathematics, technology andhome economics are taught in English; while social stud-TABLE 1. The Philippine basic education systemIndicatorElementarySecondaryTotalNumber of schools38,6316,67345,304Enrolment9,354,4513,940,58713,295,038Number of teachers334,822146,102480,924Number of childrenper class3432Enrolment rate92.70%62.25%Source: Office of Planning Service, 1998
114ies, values education, physical education, health and mu-sic are taught in Filipino.
Curriculum design
The approach to curriculum design in the country is basedon content topic
competency. The Department of Ed-ucation, Culture and Sports (DECS) prescribes competen-cies for the subject areas in all the grade/year levels. TheDECS Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Educationdevelops, publishes and disseminates
these learning com-petencies to the field. Most of the subject/learning areashave a list of learning competencies expected to be mas-tered by the children at the end of each grade/year leveland also at the end of elementary/secondary schooling.Some subject/learning areas have a combination of both(i.e. learning competencies under each content/topic). Thecurriculum is designed to be interpreted by teachers andimplemented with variations. Schools are encouraged toinnovate and enrich or adapt, as along as they have met thebasic requirements of the curriculum.In this context, the regional science high schoolsoffer an enriched science and mathematics programmewhereby students take additional science and mathemat-ics subjects. In some private schools, English, scienceand mathematics subjects are taken in lieu of values edu-cation; this is because subjects like religion, moral valuesand ethics already have been incorporated. In addition,students are required to participate in co-curricular activi-ties. These are managed by students with the teacher asfacilitator/moderator (see Table 2).
Teaching methods and learning activities
The curriculum plan (learning competencies) does notpresent teaching methods and learning activities thatteachers must follow in implementing the curriculum. Theguiding philosophy is that the creativity of teachers isstimulated by the option to plan and use the appropriateteaching/learning activities independently. However,teacher
s manuals or guides do incorporate higher-levelcontent areas and suggestions for teaching and assessing.
 Learning materials
Until 1987, the government directly managed and super-vised the production and distribution of textbooks andmanuals through the Instructional Materials DevelopmentCouncil (IMDC). However, this responsibility was trans-ferred to private publishers with the passage of the Book Publishing Industry Development Act (RA 8047). ThisAct also provided for the adoption of multiple rather thansingle textbooks. Currently, learning materials and text-books developed by the private sector are submitted forevaluation to the Instructional Materials Council Secretar-iat (IMCS)
an agency attached to DECS. Approved text-books are listed in a catalogue from which school-teachersand principals select those that are to be purchased fortheir respective schools.Other teaching/learning support materials available inthe schools include guides or manuals, teacher support/,workbooks for students, apparatus for science and tech-nology, and home economics, video and cassette tapes,educational computer software, charts, maps and models.All of these must also be submitted for evaluation at thenational level before they can be released for purchasedfor school level use.
At the national level, the National Educational Testingand Research Centre (NETRC) has the task of administer-ing the national achievement tests to students leaving theeducation sector. For grade VI this means administeringthe national elementary achievement test and, for year IV,the national secondary assessment test. The tests coverfive subject areas and are based on the elementary andsecondary level learning competencies. The examinationsare administered annually, towards the end of the schoolyear. The results provide the bases for policy formulationand educational reforms. At the regional and division lev-els, diagnostic and achievement tests are administered toa sample group depending on the availability of funds. Noexamination is required for admission to public secondaryschools.The purposes of the school-based assessments are: (a) toimprove the teaching/learning process; (b) to identify stu-dents
strengths and weaknesses; (c) to determine the stu-dents
subject area performance and/or achievementlevels and; (d) to report student progress to parents. Al-though there are four periods annually at both elementaryand secondary levels where students are examined in eachsubject, formative and summative evaluation are under-taken regularly. Paper and pencil tests are the most com-mon forms of examination in the schools.ISSUES AND CONCERNS IN CURRICULUMDEVELOPMENTIssues and concerns abound in almost every aspect of thePhilippine curriculum development and implementationprocess and at every bureaucratic level. Several of theseare described below. Table 4 provides an overview of thecurriculum decision-making process.

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