20, 2013

NR # 3021

House ratifies the proposed K12 education program
The House of Representatives has ratified a bicameral conference committee report on the proposed K12 education program. To be known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act, the proposed act will require children to undergo one-year kindergarten education and 12 years of basic education. Rep. Rosenda Ocampo (6th District, Manila), chairperson of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, said the 12 years basic education would cover six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school. The first batch of students completing the K12 program will graduate in March 2018, Ocampo said. Ocampo said the measure requires kindergarten and the first three years of elementary education, instruction, teaching materials and assessment in the regional or native language of the learners. Under the bill, the Department of Education (DepEd) shall formulate a mother language transition program from Grade 4 to Grade 6 so that Filipino and English shall be gradually introduced as languages of instruction until such time when these two languages can become the primary languages on instruction at the secondary level. Ocampo said the DepEd shall work with Commission on Higher Education and Technical Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in formulating the design and details of the enhanced basic education curriculum, craft harmonized basic and tertiary curricula for the global competitiveness of Filipino graduates and ensure college readiness, and avoid remedial and duplication of basic education subjects. Ocampo said current DepEd teachers should be re-trained to meet the content and performance standards of the new K to 12 curriculum. She said superintendents, principals, subject area coordinators, and other instructional school leaders shall likewise undergo workshops and training to enhance their skills on their role as academic, administrative, and community leaders. The DepEd and private education Institutions may also hire practitioners with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by the basic education curriculum to teach in the secondary level, provided that they teach on part-time basis only.

The DepEd, in coordination with DOLE, TESDA and CHED shall regularly conduct career advocacy activities for secondary level students and shall allow unlicensed guidance counselors to conduct career advocacy activities to secondary level students of the school where they are currently employed provided that they undergo a training program to be developed or accredited by the DepEd. The measure also creates a joint congressional oversight committee to oversee, monitor, and evaluate the implementation of the Act composed of five Members each from the Senate and from the House, including both Houses’ Chairs of the Committees on Education, Arts and Culture, and Finance; and two opposition or minority Members of both Houses. The authors of the bill are Ocampo and Reps. Mariano Piamonte (Party-list, A Teacher), Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar), Magtanggol Gunigundo I (2nd District, Valenzuela City), and Fatima Aliah Dimaporo (2nd District, Lanao Del Norte). (30) jc

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