By Erica Delos Santos

Figure 1: “The development of K to 12 Program has been made possible by the collaborative efforts of members of the Steering Committee which is composed of DepED, CHED, TESDA, and other stakeholders.”

The government’s K-12 program is a much-needed change for the country’s education system. Through this program, people may expect better-trained citizens who could be competitive with the knowledge and skills of people trained abroad.

                Before the Implementation of the K-12 program began, the Philippines is one of the very few countries remaining that provide only ten years of basic education, six years in elementary and four years secondary. This short period makes it difficult for Filipinos to be competitive with countries like Japan or Korea, that have at least 12 years of basic education under their belt. In most cases, the extra years spent in basic education should enable students to tackle subjects like mathematics and science in more details, instead of the rushed manner used in the old education system.

Figure 2: Comparative data on duration of basic and secondary education in Asia.

 People can also expect that the new K-12 system will produce graduates who are more prepared for college education. The program is expected to provide a clear view of which career they would take. This may lead to less drop-outs, and more chances of success in graduating from whatever course they choose.

 The K-12 system is not without its critics. Some people say that it is not the number of years that should be increased, but the quality of instruction that the students receive. In a way, adding a few years to basic education can still provide the quality that students need.

                Now on its first year of implementation, the K-12 program is not without challenges, but it is an endeavor worth pursuing if we truly intend to improve the Philippine education system. By investing more time and resources in our education, we can expect our graduates to become competitive in the global business arena, and bring more success that would contribute towards building our nation.

Figure 3: Schematic implementation plan of K to 12.

Pictures and data source: K to 12 Basic Education Program brochure distributed during the 1st National Technical Education & Skills Development Congress on August 29, 2012.

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