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The Philippine educational system that has existed before the

implementation of the K-12 program is clearly obsolete and is in need of change.
It did not help in creating more recruits to the countrys labor force. It did not help
much in giving the best possible instilling of necessary knowledge and values to
our youth. Before 2012, the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world
that has prospective high school graduates aged 17 in average.

Surely, in our current economic situation, we need to provide our youth

with more opportunities. A high school graduate a while ago has very little
chance, if not zero, of getting a decent job (decent being a secure job with
benefits, securities, etc). Now, the potential first batch of K-12 graduates can.
Because of this new program implemented by our government, students are
trained and equipped with skills needed for a specific line of work. He/she will
never even need to go to college for that.

With the span of 12 years, a student is provided with very ample time to
master subjects that they will learn and carry on through life. If we compare two
high school graduates, one of them American and the other a Filipino, according
to their opportunities without getting a college degree, the differences are vast.
But that is an unfair comparison as American and Philippine circumstances are
also different. However, we should consider the possibilities. If there are more
people who can immediately get in our labor force, unemployment will decrease.
Industry will bloom. Therefore prosperity is easily achieved.

Going into deeper details, let us start with the discussion of the salient
features of the newly implemented K-12 program. This is according to the Official
Gazette1 of the Philippine government.

The first one is the Universal Kindergarten feature of the program.

Kindergarten is vital because it provides a place for preparation to formal

education. This time every kid is given a chance to go through kindergarten. The
more a child is prepared for higher level education, the better he/she can perform
in school, and the more chances of finishing.

However, this time, children will learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and
colors through games, songs, and dances, in their Mother Tongue. This makes it
easier for them to absorb the concepts taught in class as opposed to the use of
English which is usually not the first language a Filipino child learns.

The second feature is the more relevant curriculum. The students are
given examples of concepts that are evident in their own culture. For example, a
triangle would be represented by banderitas as opposed to the musical
instrument. The banderitas are a more common sight, especially in barangays,
than the musical instrument. This would give them more depth in understanding
concepts taught in class.

A prominent characteristic of this program is the use of the mother tongue

in learning concepts. The proponents of this program believe that if lessons are
taught using the learners first language, they would easily be absorbed and
mastered. English and Filipino are also taught, but they are taught using the
mother tongue. A learner has to learn first how to read with his mother tongue
before any other language. A new language, for it to be easily mastered,
according to K-12 proponents, should be taught using the first language of the

Spiral learning progression is also another feature of this program. What is

this? During our high school years Biology was taught in 2 nd year, Chemistry in
3rd year, and Physics in 4th year. With the new program students are taught all of
these in all appropriate levels altogether, beginning with the simplest complex
and on to more advanced ones.

Lastly, the additional two years of high school (Senior High School) is two
years of specialized upper secondary education. Students can choose a career
track based on aptitude, interests and school capacity. The content of the
lessons he/she will then learn are based on the chosen career track. There is
even an OJT (on the job training) for the chosen career track and the student can
be paid while being taught.

After finishing certain levels, the student is given certificates that would
allow him/her to get a job that fits to the skills level obtained.

As we can all see, this program is expected provide the student more
knowledge, information, technology and media skills. The student will have better
communication skills. And it can be safely stated that all of what can be learned
through the program is worthy of being taken by the person throughout life.

This program really contributes to the advancement of our childrens

worldwide competence. As many have said, it all starts with education. A citizen
of a nation has to be educated into becoming better citizens that will provide
something for the benefit of our country. That can only be made with a good
educational system.

If this program gives good results, how will the Filipino students fare with
the others around the world? The Philippines currently does not rank at the top
performing countries according to the Center on International Education
Benchmarking2. It is expected. But there is a chance that the country can be in
that group of top performing countries with this new educational program given
that there is good access to materials and better teachers.

The first graduates will face a variety of opportunities. They can choose to
pursue a college degree, or work. At least they have more choices available for
them after they graduate high school unlike the students under the old program.

Our country is still wallowing in poverty and other social ills. Education
provides the people with the skills needed to fix those. Education is vital. That is
why its system needs to be updated and improved regularly. -RONNIE EMMANUEL