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K to 12 Basic Education Program

Written By Jane Miranda on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I. The K to 12 Program

The K to 12 Program covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

The adoption of the program is in response to the need to improve the competitiveness of our country’s graduates as the ten-year basic education cycle is seen as inadequate for work and higher education. In fact, overseas Filipino workers are not automatically recognized as professionals in other countries that view the ten-year education program as insufficient. The Philippines is the only country in Asia and is one of only three countries in the world with a ten-year basic education cycle. 

A.   Salient Features
1. Universal Kindergarten Education. Kindergarten has now been integrated into the basic education system to ensure that all grade 1 students are ready for academic learning. Universal kindergarten started in SY 2011–2012 with a budget of P2.3 billion and was made mandatory starting SY 2012–2013 through the signing of Republic Act No. 10157 entitled “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor” on January 20, 2012.

In SY 2012–2013, an estimated 2.3 million five-year-old children will enter kindergarten, of which 1.7 million (74 percent) will be served by public schools.

2. Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education. The mother tongue will be the medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade 3. This includes the following: Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano. Medium of instruction will be English and Filipino starting grade 4.

3. Core Academic Areas. The core academic areas include Math; Filipino; English; Araling Panlipunan; Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao; and Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health (MAPEH). These are based on the College Readiness Standards of the Commission on Higher Education and are equivalent to the courses offered under the General Education Curriculum of Higher Education Institutions.

Science will be taught in grade 3, but its concepts will be integrated in other subjects like Health (under MAPEH), Math, and Languages in grades 1 and 2. Edukasyong Pangtahanan at Pangkabuhayan will be taught starting in grade 4. Technology and Livelihood Education and technical–vocational specializations, consistent with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority training regulations, will start in grade 7.

4. Specializations. The additional two years (grades 11 and 12) or SHS will allow students to choose among academic, technical–vocational, or sports and arts tracks depending on their interest, the community needs, and the results of their skills assessment. The SHS will allow mastery of core competencies for lifelong learning and preparedness for work, higher education, middle-level skills development, or entrepreneurship.

B.   Implementation and Transition Management
Program implementation will be in phases starting this June for SY 2012–2013. Grade 1 entrants in SY 2012–2013 will be the first batch to fully undergo the program, and incoming first-year high school students (or grade 7) in SY 2012–2013 will be the first to undergo the junior high school curriculum. To prepare teachers for the new curriculum, a nationwide summer training program for about 140,000 grades 1 and 7 public school teachers will be held in May. The Department of Education (DepEd) is also working with various private school associations to cover teachers in private schools. To facilitate the transition from the existing ten-year basic education to 12 years, the DepEd will also implement the SHS Readiness Assessment and K to 12 Modeling.
C.   Social Benefits of the Program
The perceived benefits of the program include: i) placing the Philippine education system at par with international standards, following the Washington Accord and the Bologna Accord; and ii) contributing to the development of a better educated society capable of pursuing productive employment, entrepreneurship, or higher education disciplines.

D.   Ensuring Sustainability of the Program
Enhancing the basic education curriculum and increasing the number of years for basic education was adopted as a Common Legislative Agenda during the February 28, 2011 Legislative–Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting. The administration-supported bills that aim to increase the number of years for basic education are Senate Bill 2713 (Recto), House Bill (HB) 4219 (Belmonte), and HB 4199 (Escudero). These bills are pending at the Committee Level.

II. Government Interventions to Address Basic Education Input Gaps.
The DepEd budget was increased by 15 percent from P207 billion in 2011 to P238.8 billion in 2012, which is being utilized to address the basic education input gaps, among others.

A.   Classrooms
As of January 27, 2012, the following are the government’s accomplishments on classroom construction:
2010 GAA
2011 GAA
Classroom construction
Classroom construction
(2,218 complete; 165 ongoing)
(4,447 complete; 2,642 ongoing)

B.   Teachers
As of February 29, 2012, 94.86 percent of the 10,000 CY 2011 new teaching positions approved by the Department of Budget and Management has been filled. To fast-track the construction of classrooms, the Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project will be implemented from July 2012 to July 2013 with a project cost of P9.8 billion. A total of 9,332 classrooms will be constructed in 2,262 elementary and secondary schools in three pre-identified regions (I, III, and IV-A) with the highest classroom shortages. 

C.   Toilets
Between 2010 and 2011, 978 of the targeted 1,396 toilets have been repaired.

D.   Textbooks
With the CY 2010 and 2011 procurement, the DepEd will be able to achieve a 1:1 student to textbook ratio in SY 2012–2013. By SY 2012–2013, the DepEd will have a zero backlog on textbooks.

E.   Seats
Between 2010 and 2011, 1,301,506 of the targeted 1,461,963 school seats have been procured.

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