A major change in our country’s educational landscape is about to take place: the Department of Education (DepEd) is launching the K-12 curriculum. According to President Benigno S. Aquino, “We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.” In line with this, the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that, “The State shall establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and the society.“ Such mandate gives justice to the basic rights of every Filipino child: the right to quality education and the right to a quality life. The PROS of K-12 Curriculum
Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical. 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. International test results consistently show Filipino students lagging way behind practically everybody else in the world. The congested curriculum partly explains the present state of education. Twelve years of content are crammed into ten years.
This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education. Most graduates are too young to enter the labor force.
“The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education. 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. The short basic education program affects the human development of the Filipino children The CONS of K-12 Curriculum
Parents have to shell out more money (for transportation and food) for the education of their children. 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 today’s ten years. DepEd must first solve the lack of classrooms, furniture and equipment, qualified teachers, and error-free textbooks.
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. 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. A high school diploma will not get anybody anywhere, because business firms will not hire fresh high school graduates. Every family dreams of having a child graduate from college. 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). The drop-out rate will increase because of the two extra years.