Friday, June 15, 2012

Some Thoughts on the K-12 Education Program


Last Wednesday, it was the first day that my children went to school here in the Philippines. Unlike in the Middle East, where the sun usually shines brightly, here, their first day was met with rainy weather. It's a good thing that in their school, vehicles are allowed to park in their covered basketball court so the students can get off or on their ride without getting wet or walking on wet ground.

Because this school year, the Department of Education of the Philippines went ahead with the implementation of the K-12 education program, all my 5 children would have to undergo 2 additional years of schooling. I've heard both pros and cons on this issue. The major advantage I heard is the adoptation of the 12 years of schooling followed by almost all countries in the world which meant we'll be following a global standard in education. As for the disadvantages, a major issue is the lack of readiness in the implementation as we can see a great lack in school facilities, teachers and the necessary curriculum.

In the K-12 program, a child is only required one year of Kindergarten (by age 5) and then can go on to Grade 1 (by age 6). My daughter Janel is turning 6 this year and already had Nursery and Kindergarten 1. She was given an entrance exam for Grade 1 and passed though she was asked to get more practice reading at home.

I had homeschooled Janel's 3 older siblings previously using the Kindergarten curriculum from the US. If I would compare that with the Philippine curriculum Janel had, the Kindergarten curriculum from the US, which I taught in more or less one year, had covered all that is taught in Nursery, Kinder 1 and 2 (or Prep) in the Philippine curriculum.

What am I pointing out? Janel needed to practice more reading because what was taught until Kinder 1 was not enough to cover all that she needed to learn before going to Grade 1 unlike in the one year Kindergarten curriculum in the US. If the Philippines would like to implement the K-12 program as in the other countries, the DepEd would have to seriously consider changing the curriculum for the Kindergarten. The lessons should not be divided in 3 preschool levels - Nursery, Kinder 1 and 2. I have asked from teachers in their previous school if there were any changes in the curriculum for preschool in the K-12 program and learned that there wasn't any. Though I'm not sure if this is true for all Philippine schools.

This is the reason why we have opted not to enroll my youngest daughter, now 3 and half, in preschool here. I would like to personally homeschool her so we could save 2 years of school (Nursery and Kinder 1) fees and just let her take an exam to go into Kindergarten 2 (unless the DepEd has made the necessary changes) just like her 3 older siblings who were homeschooled. I just hope that Janel won't have such a hard time now that she's in Grade 1. If she does well, then praise God.

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This is an additional input in my blog post after reading the Official Gazette about the K to 12 Basic Education Program implemented by the DepEd. I read there that the government was working on a Universal Kindergarten Curriculum and had it mandatory for School year 2012-2013. I am just not sure if it's already in place in the public schools. I don't think it is in private schools yet though it mentioned there that the implementation plan of the K-12 program might be different in private schools (since most private schools already offer 12 years of basic education - 2 years of Kindergarten, 6 or   7 years of Grade school and 4 years of high school).

The implementation of the K-12 is probably also the reason why I've noticed that there are Daycare programs now in barangays to cater to 4 year olds and below. Until now, Kindergarten is not  If you're interested to know how the curriculum development should progress, you can read about it on the Official Gazette article linked above.



16 comments:

Nice said...

i don't really like this k-12 program... kulang pa kasi tayo ng teachers and facilities, mag dadagdag pa ng year... tutukan muna sana ang present situation.

Chris said...

did you stop homeschooling the kids na? :)

Rachelle said...

with so many issues affecting this K12 program, i just hope the kids won't suffer further as they are suffering now.

Lalah said...

I want to homeschool Sophia but don't know how or where to start. How did you learn about it? and where did you get the things you teach your kids?

Lalah said...

I'm really not so sold out with this. are you?

Jen said...

That's a good point about reconsidering Phil. curriculum. All these changes should consider global competitiveness and consistency. Thanks for the Dep Ed Gazette link, too!

CC said...

The Government should spend more time and money on improving the quality of education (e.g. improving the curriculum) instead of increasing the number of levels. I think it's too hasty to add 2 additional years of school without evaluating everything first.

shadz said...

I think we should really try this, but you are right in pointing out the lack of faculty and facilities in most schools.

Mona said...

I think this is being implemented i just wish everything will fall into places, kasi were not really ready for this.

Jessica Cassidy said...

It is new to me..hope this will help the Philippines education :-) We have that here in America as well :-)

Chin chin said...

Chris, I homeschooled my first 3 kids for the K-2 levels, but stopped homeschooling because we decided to send the 4 children to community school 2-3 years ago. Now, I would like to homeschool my 5th child again.

Lalah, I learned about homeschooling just by searching online. I got the curriculum of my kids from Christian Liberty Academy School System, Illinois, USA. I ordered them online. They will give you a guide on how to go about homeschooling. I also chose the homeschooling plan which required me to submit works/books of my kids to them for grading. This plan gives them a quarterly report card so it was easy for them to transfer to a community school.

jared's mum said...

i have been reading mixed reactions about k-12 + most of the parents do not agree with it either. personally, i am all for it, if it would mean a better education for my son.

what's really troubling the lot of us it the poor implementation + other recurring educational + school-related problems that the government + depEd ought to have addressed before jumping into full implementation of the k-12 curriculum....

Mom Michelle said...

In my opinion, I also questioned why the K 12 program? I don't think there's something wrong with our education even before the K12 program was implemented. In fact, education here in the Phils. is considered to be one of the best. Ok fine, i get it that they want it to be on a standard global education. But the problem with the government is, as you have pointed out, the lack of proper tools - change of curriculum, additional teachers and other things. It's really a total adjustment for everybody. One issue pa is the use of mother tongue as the main medium of instruction in schools right now.

Allan said...

It is good to upgrade our education system here in our country but I think preparation of the said change is not that planned. There are still needs like teachers, classrooms, books and other facilities. I guess they had ben prepared these stuffs before they fully implemented the said changes in our education system.

Kero said...

thoroughly disagree with K12. We have the beast educational system. What is there to fix? Okay maybe more teaching jobs =)

leira said...

this is very informative thank you for sharing