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K to 12 toughens with controversy

SLT 1238

November 11-17, 2023

The journey towards a strong K to 12 program in the Philippines has encountered big challenges in terms of infrastructure, teachers, parents and other stakeholders.
A couple of years before the K-12 program was implemented, pilot classes in selected schools of the country were already conducted; following batteries of seminars and workshops to school heads and teachers nationwide, years before the actual implementation.
After nine years have passed, the birth pains and controversy continue. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, during the recent 2024 Budget deliberation for the Department of Education (DepEd), said that it is much better to have a corrected version of the old K to 10 Curriculum than the present K-12 due to the alleged “dismal quality of education.”
Cayetano cited the decrease in school hours over the past years under K-12. He further said that according to World Bank report, “nine out of 10 Filipino children cannot read and understand simple, age-appropriate reading material by age 10.”
DepEd reported that more than 2,800 schools nationwide do double, triple, or even quadruple shifting schedules. This means students only get to learn at school for a maximum of six hours a day, compared to eight hours under the old curriculum, Cayetano added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Genis Murallos, Schools Division Superintendent of Maasin City, commented that we can no longer go back to the old K to 10 Curriculum; adding that K to 12 is better than K to 10.
“It will be detrimental to our learners in terms of number of years in basic education and eventual competitiveness. For now, the Senior High School Curriculum is still being reviewed,” Murallos said.
The current K-12 program in the Philippines includes kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school. (GMReyes)

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