You are on page 1of 8

The PROS (which is basically the side of the government, well -heeled and articulate leaders from the

academe, the business community and the media): 1. Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical. 2. The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. One reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on task. 3. International test results consistently show Filipino students lagging way behind practically everybody else in the world. In the 2008 mathematics exam, for example, we came in dead last. 4. The congested curriculum partly explains the present state of education. Twelve years of content are crammed into ten years. 5. This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education. If ten years were adequate, how come employers do not hire fresh high school graduates? How come most high school graduates flunk the UPCAT? 6. Most graduates are too young to enter the labor force. Since most children start Grade 1 when they are 6 years old, they do not reach the legal employable age of 18 when they graduate from high school today. 7. The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education. Why prioritize the minority of high school graduates that go to college? 8. The short duration of the basic education program also puts the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially the professionals, and those who intend to study abroad, at a disadvantage. Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad. The best examples are our engineering graduates, who are condemned to international jobs not befitting their professional status due to our not having a 12-year basic education cycle. 9. The short basic education program affects the human development of the Filipino children. If we believe that 17-year-old high school graduates are emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually mature, why do we require them to get parental consent before they get married? The CONS (which are basically the madlang people whose pocketbooks would be adversely impacted by the proposed additional 2 years of basic education): 1. Parents have to shell out more money (for transportation and food) for the education of their children. 2. The government does not have the money to pay for two more years of free education, since it does not even have the money to fully support todays ten years. DepEd must first solve the lack of classrooms, furniture and equipment, qualified teachers, and error-free textbooks. 3. We can do in ten years what everyone else in the world takes 12 years to do. Why do we have to follow what the rest of the world is doing? We are better than all of them. Filipinos right now are accepted in prestigious graduate schools in the world, even with only ten years of basic education. 4. As far as the curriculum is concerned, DepEd should fix the current subjects instead of adding new ones. The problem is the content, not the length, of basic education. As an editorial put it, we need to have better education, not more education.

5. A high school diploma will not get anybody anywhere, because business firms will not hire fresh high school graduates. 6. Every family dreams of having a child graduate from college. 7. While students are stuck in Grades 11 and 12, colleges and universities will have no freshmen for two years. This will spell financial disaster for many private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). 8. The drop-out rate will increase because of the two extra years. The government has not yet shown the arguments of the opposition to be fallacious, writes Cruz. On the other hand, Cruz characterizes the opposition (anti) as being very vocal airing its arguments not only in newspapers, on radio, and on television, but even in the parliament of the streets. As of this writing, Cruz writes, I have not heard the opposition rebut the arguments of the government. In fact, as far as I can see, they have refused to even listen to the government. Since this is a public debate, Cruz contends that we have to move from constructive speeches to rebuttal. I think we really dont have a compelling need to listen to rebuttals. Enough yakety yak already! What we need are objective, actual (empirical) cost-benefit and pedagogical studies to support or debunk the claims of either side. A promising start would be to read Length of School Cycle and the Quality of Education written by Felipe & Porio published in the Philippine Education Research Journal (PERJ).

On the Proposed K-12 Basic Education System

The Philippines currently offers a ten year public school system to provide basic education, namely six years of tuition-free grade school and four years of high school. Since most children begin entering school at six years old however, those who do finish the entire program end up graduating from high school at around 16 years old. Many critics and educators point out that at this age the high school graduate is not old enough to execute legal contracts such as for employment or business so that those who want to work immediately after high school are hard pressed to find productive occupations. Perhaps that is why even the best of them drift into ... politics! through the SK system (but that's another topic.) At the same time, even among those intending to go to college many are emotionally and academically unprepared at 16 to effectively undertake college level study. In part this is due to our short ten year elementary and secondary school curricula. A major agenda item for the Dept of Education (DepEd) is the proposed K-12 Basic

Education System (PDF) which would represent a major expansion of the present ten year public school program to thirteen years. The PDF file above discusses the rationale, design and implementation plan of DepEd. In this post I consider some of the problems and challenges attendant upon the K-12 proposal.

The Philippines will be the last country in the region to adopt a K-12 basic educations system, and only three countries are left in the whole world like it, according to the DepEd discussion paper. As a result, graduates of the Philippine public school system are at a competitive disadvantage as overseas workers because they do not have as much education, at least on paper, as counterparts from other countries which do have K-12. Of course the mere fact that everybody else does it is not the only justification for adopting K-12-- although the dismal showing of Philippine students in such global testing surveys as the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (where she is consistently near the very bottom) may be a good indicator that something drastic must be done. Much was fortunately learned from participating in TIMSS about the possible reasons for the poor showing. TIMSS analysis clearly pointed out the insufficiency of our ten year public school system--with its necessarily congested basic education curriculum. It appears that we have been teaching 12 years worth of learning in the space of 10 years. What other countries take 12 years to do -- we attempt to accomplish in 10 years. DepEd suggests this is a partial explanation for the ill preparedness of our high school graduates to undertake college level study. The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) which oversees tertiary education in the Philippines has already pointed out that most colleges are spending too much time providing remedial courses to entering students because of that deficiency in the secondary school program. Most private schools already offer thirteen years of basic education (2 years of Kindergarten, 7 years of elementary school, 4 years of high school). For example: the Christian Brothers' De La Salle network of schools from which Sec. Armin was recruited by President Aquino. But attempts by Deped under the Arroyo administration to add a seventh elementary grade between grade school and high school in the so called Bridge Program collapsed under a storm of protest from parents and students who, rightly or wrongly, felt unobliged to defer entry into high school on such short notice, as it were. The lesson of that ill-fated Bridge Program of a few years ago does not seem to have been lost on the present management at DepEd. For the public schools DepEd now proposes the addition of a Kindergarten or Pre-school level for five year olds ahead of the existing six year Elementary School program. Then the Secondary School program would grow to six years long by retaining the present four year high school program as "Junior High School" and adding a 2 year "Senior High School" program at the end of that. It's a clever solution that stands a good chance of working, since DepEd is basically keeping the present system intact and will "bookend" or "sandwich" it between a preparatory kindergarten level at the start, and a Senior High School subsystem at the end.

ME: If you listened to the video on the public reaction to DepEd Sec. Armin Luistros Enhanced K+12 basic education program announcement, youd find a couple of holes (actually theres more) in his argument. Ill start with two at this point because I dont want to overload my peewee bird brain: No. 1, senior graduates will find it easier to find jobs: Now, thats a bit of a stretch considering these high school graduates from the proposed K+12 basic education program will have to compete with an oversupply of college graduates who have difficulty finding jobs themselves. AIF: Exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. Why expect employed graduates if there is just little employment? ME: So, then, instead of just college graduates competing for jobs, it will be high school graduates PLUS college graduates who will be competing for those jobs. AIF: Very true. The unemployed, though, will be better educated. That situation, sir, is more explosive. ME: And some gullible ones thought DepEd Sec. Armin Luistros logic was fundamentally sound, but obviously those ducks are not in a row. Unless those jobs will just miraculously materialize to absorb the suddenly larger number of high school and college graduates! Or, we beef up OFW which, according to a press release, is going to downsize or halt the domestic help exports. AIF: Our OFWs will have better credentials. Imagine those Filipinos with K+12 + college being servants? As a foreign master, Id prefer them to high school graduates from Sri Lanka. Aha, Pnoys program will impact Philippine dignity. Remember a time when Ph.D.s were accepting jobs as drivers? Their degrees did not make them better drivers, nor their work as drivers a credit to their graduate schools. ME: Anyone with a little common sense can use his ten fingers to figure that We can really beat this to a pulp. If thats the intention in the first place, your solution in the ed cycle article would be the most intelligent solution: prepare to do some guidance counseling for those high school students (perhaps, during their sophomore, junior and senior years) who need a vocation to be employable that would direct them to appropriate TESDA courses and mesh this arrangement, perhaps, within the purview of their 4-year high school curriculum, or if that period of time is inadequate, let them sweat it out at TESDA after high school. Then, for those who have the wherewithal, smarts and ambition to duke it out in college, provide them the appropriate counseling, as well, so that they are presented with the options for which they are comfortable with intellectually and financially, as well as where the jobs will potentially be (based on empirical surveys of government and business current and potential job opportunities) when they complete college. Of course, whether it be TESDA or a bona fide college/university education, lets work on improving or overhauling the teaching and assessment methods and the quality of the teachers. Its that GIGO thing: GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT, and if we dont reverse that quickly, no amount of Luistros sophomoric homilies will matter.

No. 2, senior graduates will not have to go to college right away because then they will be more employable: Aha, I know Luistros gonna dumb down and lower the expectations of a lot of high school students/graduates. In the U.S., where jobs are easier to come by, a lot of those high school students/graduates wind up flipping burgers, or as retail clerks at WalMart, etc., and because of the semi-security of earning a weekly paycheck and their normally active hormones, these young ones are emboldened to have sex. And sometimes, unable to curb their enthusiasm, they forget the socio-economic benefits of prophylactics and the girls wind up knocked up so sometimes these folks are forced to start their families prematurely and the thought of a higher education, like college or even community college or vocational school simply moves further and further away from their radar as the responsibilities of raising a family get more and more in the way. I dont suppose Filipino high school graduates will be any more different AIF: No, except they like to multiply even without the security of a weekly paycheck ME: With their Catholic faith, the birth rate may even be more significantly affected to exacerbate the Malthusian nightmare! Especially because those bishops are against sex education helloooo

Briefer on the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program

Briefer prepared by the Department of Education, November 2, 2010 Salient Points on the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program What is K+12?

K+12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education.

Kindergarten refers to the 5-year old cohort that takes a standardized kinder curriculum. Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves six or seven years of education

Secondary education refers to high school. How are we planning to implement the K+12 program? After considering various proposals and studies, the model that is currently being proposed by DepEd is the K-6-4-2 Model. This model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12). The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.

Features of K 6-4-2 (1) Kindergarten and 12 years of quality basic education is a right of every Filipino, therefore they must be and will be provided by government and will be free. (2) Those who go through the 12 years cycle will get an elementary diploma (6 years), a junior high school diploma (4 years), and a senior high school diploma (2 years). (3) A full 12 years of basic education will eventually be required for entry into tertiary level education (entering freshmen by SY 2018-2019 or seven years from now).
y y

An open and consultative process will be adopted in the development and implementation of K+12. Change is two-fold: (a) curriculum enhancement and (b) transition management.

What is Senior High School?

y y y y

2 years of in-depth specialization for students depending on the occupation/career track they wish to pursue Skills and competencies relevant to the job market The 2 years of senior HS intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies. The curriculum will allow specializations in Science and Technology, Music and Arts, Agriculture and Fisheries, Sports, Business and Entrepreneurship.

What is the proposed implementation plan of DepEd? Phases of Implementation: (1) Universal kindergarten will be offered starting SY 2011-2012. (2) DepEd will begin clearing the basic education curriculum in SY 2012-2013. (3) The enhanced 12-year curriculum will be implemented starting with incoming Grade 1 students of SY 2012-2013. (4) Incoming freshmen of SY 2012-2013 will be the first beneficiary of a free Senior High School education that will be made available by DepEd in public schools beginning SY 20162017. Electives to be offered in Senior HS (arts, music, tech-voch..etc) In implementing the K-6-4-2 proposal, DepEd will take into account the issues and concerns of all stakeholders, including the high school graduates before 2016. This will be done through regional consultations to begin early 2011. The mechanics and other details of the transition plan will be threshed out with HEIs in coordination with CHED, TESDA and other critical stakeholders. Why add two more years?
y y

To decongest and enhance the basic education curriculum To provide better quality education for all

y y y y y

The Philippines is the only remaining country in Asia with a 10-year basic education program K+12 is not new. The proposal to expand the basic education dates back to 1925. Studies in the Philippines have shown that an additional year of schooling increases earnings by 7.5%. Studies validate that improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by 2% to 2.2%. Minus 2 instead of plus 2 for those families who cannot afford a college education but still wish to have their children find a good paying job. Right now, parents spend for at least 4 years of college to have an employable child. In our model, parents will not pay for 2 years of basic education that will give them an employable child. In effect, we are saving parents 2 years of expenses. The plan is not Plus 2 years before graduation but Minus 2 years before work To inspire a shift in attitude that completion of high school education is more than just preparation for college but can be sufficient for a gainful employment or career.

How much will this cost?

y y

The immediate cost for the program will not be needed until 2016 when the first year of the two additional years is implemented. Meanwhile, we will continue to close the resource gaps in basic education the President ordered DepEd to its close resource gaps in 2 years.

At this time, we estimate the total funding requirement to procure all needed resources at P150 billion for:
152,569 new classrooms 103,599 more teachers 95.6 million more books

13.2 million seats What will society gain from K+12

y y y y

K+12 will facilitate an accelerated economic growth. K+12 will facilitate mutual recognition of Filipino graduates and professionals in other countries. A better educated society provides a sound foundation for long-term socio-economic development. Several studies have shown that the improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by as much as 2%. Studies in the UK, India and US show that additional years of schooling also have positive overall impact on society.

Are private schools obliged to follow?


While we enjoy the support of private school associations, we are yet to discuss with them the implementation of the program.

Where are we at now?

y y

Insufficient mastery of basic competencies is common due to a congested curriculum. The 12 year curriculum is being delivered in 10 years. High school graduates are younger than 18 years old and lack basic competencies and maturity. They cannot legally enter into contracts and are not emotionally mature for entrepreneurship / employment. Other countries view the 10-year education cycle as insufficient.

K+12 Education Vision Graduates of Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program will:
y y y y y y y

Acquire mastery of basic competencies. Be more emotionally mature. Be socially aware, pro-active, involved in public and civic affairs. Be adequately prepared for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education. Be legally employable with potential for better earnings. Be globally competitive. Every graduate of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program is an empowered individual who has learned, through a program that is rooted on sound educational principles and geared towards excellence, the foundations for learning throughout life, the competence to engage in work and be productive, the ability to coexist in fruitful harmony with local and global communities, the capability to engage in autonomous critical thinking, and the capacity to transform others and one s self.

that s right to make it more competitive to other private colleges. gobyerno talaga palagi na lang kinu kompara at nangongopya sa systema ng ibang bansa. Hindi lahat ng problema pare pareho ang solusyon, kun ang K+12 na solusyon ng ibang bansa ay effective sa kanila hindi ibig sabihin na epektibo din sa atin a lot of factors that need to be consider. hindi nga kayo makapagpatayo ng mga bagong gusali sa public schools, 50+ student na kami noon nag graduate ako ng high school at 1998 pa yun, iwan ko kun ilan na studyante sa isang section pagkalipas ng sampung taon -the-proposed-k-12-basic-education-program-ofthe-philippines/