Monday, June 4, 2012

K to 12

      This schoolyear, the Dep-Ed will be implementing the K-12 educational system for the Philippines. K-12 means Kindergarten plus 12 years of basic education, to include 6 years of primary education, 4 years of junior high school and 2 years of senior high school. 

        As a teenager growing up in the world of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield in Sweet Valley High, I secretly wished there were junior and senior high schools in the Philippines. And though I thought it would be odd to be in a class where your classmates are younger than you, I secretly envied the high school transferees who came from Ateneo de Manila or  Miriam in Quezon City because they were able to experience seventh grade. The idea of 7th grade, junior and senior high schools were novel and attractive to my then naive self. Parang ang sosyal lang!

           I have been curious about this K-12 system as my eldest is turning five this July and I want to make sure that he enters into the level most suitable for his age. 

         Aliq's preschool accepted him for Kindergarten even if he still hasn't turned 5 in June. Each school has it's own criteria. Ateneo is very strict. A child has to be 6 by June for them to be admitted to Grade 1. I called my Grade School of choice and we were informed that Aliq's age may be admitted for Grade 1, come June 2013, if an opening comes up. Being in the waitlist for the SY 2013 sucks.

          Two new features of the K-12 educational system are the mandatory kindergarten and mother tongue based multilingual education. 

        Kindergarten is now a mandatory pre-requisite for Grade 1. With the enactment of Republic Act No. 10157 last January 2012, Kindergarten is now made universally available in the public educational system. Libreng preschool. 

          The mother-tongue shall be the medium of instruction from Kindergarten to Grade 3. From Grade 4 onwards, the medium of instruction will be English and Filipino. Mother tongue is described by Merriam - Webster as "one's native language". According to Dep Ed, it includes Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano. What about Davaoeno? Or Davao's brand of Bisaya ?

           Here are some of  the Frequently Asked Questions on K-12 and their Answers as culled from the government's website

When will the K to 12 program be implemented?
  • Universal kindergarten started in SY 2011–2012.
  • The new curriculum for grade 1 and grade 7 (high school year 1) will be implemented in SY 2012–2013 and will progress in the succeeding school years.
  • Grade 11 (HS year 5) will be introduced in SY 2016–2017 and grade 12 (HS year 6) in SY 2017–2018.
  • The first batch of students to go through K to 12 will graduate in March 2018.
Where will the additional two years be added?
  • The two years will be added after the four-year high school program. This will be called senior high school.
Why are we implementing 12 years of basic education and not 11 years?
  • A 12-year program is found to be the adequate period for learning under basic education and is a requirement for recognition of professionals abroad (i.e., the Bologna and Washington Accords).
  • Other countries like Singapore have 11 years of compulsory education, but have 12 to 14 years of preuniversity education depending on the track.
Will this address the dropout problem?
  • The decongested curriculum will allow mastery of competencies and enable students to better cope with the lessons. This should partly address those who drop out because they cannot cope with schoolwork.
  • The curriculum will be learner-centered, enriched, and responsive to local needs. It will also allow students to choose electives/specializations that suit their interest. This should partly address those who drop out because of lack of personal interest in the curriculum offered.
  • DepEd will also continue to offer programs such as home schooling for elementary students and the dropout reduction program for high schools. These programs address the learning needs of marginalized students and learners at risk of dropping out.
Why is the K to 12 program better than the current program?
  • K to 12 offers a more balanced approach to learning that will enable children to acquire and master lifelong learning skills (as against a congested curriculum) for the 21st century.
  • The current program crams a 12-year curriculum into ten years, making it difficult for students to master the competencies.
  • It will help in freeing parents of the burden of having to spend for college just to make their children employable.
  • A student who completes K to 12 will be equipped with skills, competencies, and recognized certificates equivalent to a two-year college degree.
What would be the assurance that K to 12 graduates will be employed?
  • DepEd has entered into an agreement with business organizations and local and foreign chambers of commerce and industries that graduates of K to 12 will be considered for employment.
  • There will be a matching of competency requirements and standards so that 12-year basic education graduates will have the necessary skills needed by the labor market.
How will K to 12 help in ensuring employment for our graduates?
  • The K to 12 basic education curriculum will be sufficient to prepare students for work.
  • The curriculum will enable students to acquire Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certifications (NCs). This will be in accordance to TESDA training regulations. This will allow graduates to have middle-level skills and will offer them better opportunities to be gainfully employed or become entrepreneurs.
  • There will be a school–industry partnership for technical–vocational tracks to allow students to gain work experience while studying and offer the opportunity to be absorbed by the companies.
How will the K to 12 program help working students (college level)?
  • DepEd is in collaboration with CHED to provide more opportunities for working students to attend classes.
  • DepEd is working with the Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that jobs will be available to K to 12 graduates and that consideration will be given to working students.
How will the K to 12 program help students intending to pursue higher education?
  • The K to 12 basic education curriculum will be in accordance with the College Readiness Standards from CHED, which sets the skills and competencies needed of K to 12 graduates who wish to pursue higher education.
  • CHED will download its general education subjects to K to 12, ensuring mastery of core competencies for K to 12 graduates. This may lead to a reduction in the number of years of college courses, resulting to a decrease in educational expenses of households.
Is K to 12 required for private schools as well? Will the same implementation timeline apply to private schools?
  • Since private schools follow the DepEd curriculum, they will also be implementing the 12-year basic education program, but the implementation plan will differ. This will be discussed with the representatives of the private schools.
  • Private schools are active participants in developing the K to 12 Program.
  • Note that a number of private schools offer at least 12 years of basic education: two years of kindergarten, six or seven years of elementary, and four years of high school.
How will the college and technical–vocational courses be adjusted due to the K to 12 curriculum? Will adjustments be made in time for the first graduates of K to 12?
  • TESDA will download some of its basic technical competencies, and CHED will transfer the general education subjects to basic education.
  • CHED will be releasing its updated College Readiness Standards, which will be the basis for the competencies in grades 11 and 12 (HS years 5 and 6).
  • These activities will be completed before SY 2016–2017.
What will happen to the curriculum? What subjects will be added and removed?
  • There will be a continuum from kinder to grade 12 (HS year 6), and to technical and higher education.
  • The current curriculum will be decongested to allow mastery of learning.
  • In grades 11 and 12 (HS years 5 and 6), core subjects like Math, Science, and English will be strengthened. Specializations in students’ areas of interest will also be offered.
  • Right now, a technical working group has formulated the new curriculum framework, standards, and competencies for K to 12. Experts from CHED, TESDA, and other stakeholders are part of this working group. After this, the changes in terms of subjects added, removed, and enhanced will be clearer.
What specializations will be offered in senior high school?
  • The specializations to be offered include academics, middle-level skills development, sports and arts, and entrepreneurship. In general, specializations will either be college preparatory, immediate work/career readiness, or a combination of both.
  • Specializations will also be guided by local needs and conditions. For example, schools serving farming or fishing communities will offer agriculture- or fishery-related specializations. Schools located in manufacturing zones will have technical courses relevant to the sector, and so will schools in the vicinity of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Science high schools will continue to provide higher degrees of science competencies, as well as the arts.
What will happen to special schools such as science high schools, high schools for the arts, trade schools, etc.?
  • These schools will remain special schools with enriched curriculum for grades 7 to 12 (HS years 1 to 6).
What will happen to multigrade teaching?
  • Multigrade teaching will continue using the K to 12 curriculum.
ALS age requirement is only 16 years old for the HS equivalency test. Will this change to 18? Students might want to turn to ALS if they can save two years of formal school education costs.
  • The ALS is based on the existing ten-year basic education curriculum. When the new 12-year curriculum will be in place, ALS will likewise be revised.
Is kindergarten a prerequisite for entering grade 1?
  • Yes. Republic Act No. 10157, or the Kindergarten Education Act, institutionalizes kindergarten as part of the basic education system and is compulsory for admission to grade 1.
Is there an overlap between the day care program of the LGUs and DepEd kindergarten?
  • There is no overlap. Day care centers of the LGUs take care of children aged 4 and below, whereas the DepEd kindergarten program is for five-year-old children.
Should schools now prepare permanent records for kindergarten students?
  • Yes. Although the assessment on readiness skills of students in kindergarten is not academically driven, a good measure of the child’s ability to cope with formal schooling is needed for future learning interventions.
When will the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) be implemented?
  • The MTB-MLE program will be implemented nationwide this coming June, in SY 2012–2013.
  • Nine hundred twenty-one schools, including those for children of indigenous people, have piloted the MTB-MLE. The implementation of MTB-MLE will benefit from the experience of these 921 schools.
  • Twelve mother tongue languages shall be offered as a learning area and utilized as a language of instruction starting SY 2012–2013. These are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.
Which mother tongue will be used in multicultural areas?
  • The lingua franca in the area shall be used as the medium of instruction.
  • The principle of MTB-MLE is to use the language that learners are most comfortable and familiar with.
How will teachers be prepared for the K to 12 Program?
  • Teachers will be given sufficient in-service training to implement this program. The preservice training for aspiring teachers will also be modified to conform to the requirements of the program.
  • Training of national trainers for grades 1 to 7 will be on April 23–29, 2012.
  • Training of grades 1 and 7 teachers will be conducted at the regional and division levels for the whole month of May 2012.
How about the additional cost to parents?
  • Grades 11 and 12 (HS years 5 and 6) will be offered for free in public schools.
  • K to 12 graduates will have higher earning potential as they will be more competent and skilled.
  • As a result in the K to 12 Program, CHED is exploring the possibility of decreasing the number of years of certain courses in college.
  • K to 12 graduates will have national certification from TESDA, which will enable them to have higher employment opportunities.
How much will the K to 12 Program cost the government?
  • The House-approved budget for 2012 is P238.8 billion, including P2.4 billion for kinder. For 2016, the introduction of grade 11 (HS year 5) has a preliminary estimated cost of P38 billion, assuming all costs are borne by the government (Medium-Term Spending Plan for Basic Education, 2011).
  • DepEd is targeting to involve other stakeholders to generate additional financial resources.
Will the K to 12 Program be applicable in ARMM? What will happen to the Madrasah curriculum in ARMM?
  • The K to 12 curriculum will be flexible enough to accommodate local conditions and culture in Mindanao. The Madrasah curriculum is a component of the K to 12 Program.


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