DepEd: It’s time to review K-12 program


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MANILA, Philippines – Two years since its implementation, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced they will be conducting a “thorough review” of the K-12 curriculum.

During a palace press briefing, DepEd secretary Leonor Briones said the review will particularly focus on the Senior High School (SHS) Program. Briones said, “We are going to have a thorough review of the curriculum, after all, we have been there for two years already so we have enough experience.”

Education Secretary Leonor Briones says it’s time to review the K-12
Education Secretary Leonor Briones says it’s time to review the K-12 program | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/DepEd Philippines

The education secretary admitted that the move was based on “feedbacks” they have received but didn’t elaborate what kind of feedbacks they were. “We will review the curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12 because we have been getting feedback as well and we are welcoming feedback from the public about curriculum content,” she added.

Briones, however, hinted that the need to review was due to “many things are happening in this world.” She clarified, “Change is happening so fast but it is in dealing with the change that we want our children to gain more life skills.”

When prodded on these “changes,” Secretary Briones gave an example on the problem with the idea of teaching students on “speaking beautiful English” to be competitive in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Briones explained that in other countries, call center agents are now being replaced with robots. She said that if we continue to put our focus in “beautiful English” we will be left behind.

Briones admitted that it is now time to focus more on other skills. “We have to teach our children to be the ones to make the robots. This is why we are teaching robotics in high schools. This is why we are sending teams, public school, high school kids to other countries and they are winning in robotics contests,” she added.

Another point that Briones reiterated that children should be taught to analyze and solve problems rather than focus on memorization. She said, “What we want our children to learn, which probably my generation did not learn, is not memory work, we teach them how to analyze, how to solve problems, how to respond to change and to accept change because by the time they graduate, whatever we have taught them, not all of them will be applicable. They will not be able to recognize the world they are going to enter.”

Under the K-12 Program, students will undergo 13 years of basic education starting with Kindergarten, Grades 1-6 for Elementary level, followed by Grade 7-10 for Junior High School (JHS) and Grades 11 and 12 for the Senior High School.

Teachers’ group called to junk K-12 program

Even before its full implementation, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) had been urging the DepEd to junk the K-12 program.

The group said that new curriculum, which adds 2 more years in basic education, was designed to “produce meek and cheap labor force for foreign capital.”

ACT National Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena said that since the program is focused on technical skills and specialization, it consequently, “weakens the education on history, social science, and humanities which are core to developing analytical skills.”

— Sally, The Summit Express


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