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 :
- 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.