Wednesday, 06 October 2010
Fidelis Angela Tan
The Department of Education (DepEd) revealed on Tuesday that its proposed Kindergarten+12 years (K+12) education plan will be put into motion gradually, so as to give schools time to adjust.
“The reform would take a transition period of four to five years so as not to be disruptive,” said Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro. “We are undergoing a major curriculum review [and it] will take a while before it can be implemented.”
In addition to kindergarten, the new program will set 6 years of elementary education, 4 years of junior high school (grades 7 to 10), and 2 years of senior high school (grades 11-12).
The curriculum will also allow specialization in science and technology, music and arts, agriculture and fisheries, sports, business, and entrepreneurship, and others. Students will be graduating around the age of 18, and will be expected to be fully armed to enter the work world without even without a college degree.
Luistro added that he was prepared to face criticism for the new program.
“I didn’t think there wouldn’t be any opposition,” he said. “But what has to be done now is to discuss what has to be done, so we have political will [to implement the program].”
“If there were nothing wrong with the current system, why do local governments refuse to hire high school graduates? Hopefully, we can implement this K+12 system so that high school graduates can be employable and ready to work right away.”
Other groups continue to protest against the proposed change. A statement from the Kabataan Partylist said that the K+12 program will only add “more problems” to the current educational system.
“The move to add two years in basic education will not answer the country’s declining quality of education, the growing number of out-of-school youth, nor will it lift the country’s employment rate,” said the group.
“Instead of adding years, the government must focus on measures aimed at increasing state spending on education to six percent of the GDP, stopping unjust tuition and other fee increases in all levels, promoting a nationalist curriculum, upholding democratic rights of students, improving teachers’ welfare, and improve science, research and technology development,” it said.
League of Filipino Students (LFS) national chairman Terry Ridon agreed that adding two years to the education model won’t work unless the quality of education first improves.