I’m a product of the K-12 program and I must say that I entered university in a much more mature and prepared state as compared to going straight from high school.This allowed me to specialize immediately in my course in university instead of spending time on general subjects in the 1st two years.
More time should be spent in university on the actual subjects of your course. It can be spread out more and knowledge will be more deeper in this respect.
1) Do we really need it?Yes. Yes. and Yes. In a rapidly advancing world, education needs to keep up with the amount of learning needed and changes. Education is a powerful force for social mobility.
2) Do we have the resources for it?
Much has been said about our lack of schools, teachers, etc for it. But it’s good this administration is supportive of this program so we can expect more budget allocations for this transition. Hopefully corruption in the education sector can also be addressed to further increase budget for this program so that Philippine Education will have a chance
Former education secretary Jesli Lapus has an interesting solution to the problem of classrooms. His idea is to tap the private sector through a Public-Private partnerships.
“It’s a matter of tapping existing public and private funds,” Lapus said in an ABS-CBN News Channel interview. “The general appropriations act could provide for flexibility by allowing the Department of Education to rent-to-own, which means it’s the private sector investing. The private sector will construct the classrooms on government land and then the DepEd will lease it. You can have 5 times more classrooms for the same amount of money.”
I think it can work. The private sector can make better classrooms and the government should just provide the private sector investors a good rate of return, something bigger than the special deposit accounts are providing which is around 4.5%.
This could accelerate the program and save the government lots of money.
As for the lack of teachers, i think there should be more scholarship programs for those wishing to teach. Hopefully thefilipinoteacher.com can give out scholarships in the future to promote teaching as a viable career path.
Implementing the shift is another challenge. Tapping education consultants in successful K -12 countries to guide us on how it can be implemented smoothly in the country would be of great use.
3) Will it be a financial burden for parents?
Well, it will be additional costs for sure. But the 2 extra years (Grades 11 to 12) will help the students become more employable and ready to join the workforce. It’s really tragic to have a mismatch in skills and job opportunities.
I’m not so sure how employable the future high school graduates will be, but at least Grades 11 to 12 will allow for basic skills to warrant the low level skill jobs if college is not attainable due to financial constraints and then hopefully they can come take up university to further increase their skill set.
There is this article on Mind (May-June 2011) which is a local magazine which had a feature article on K -12 which was the inspiration behind this post.
It argued that reforms such as K-12 would still be unsuccessful because our curriculum needs to be reformed intensively. Our current skills based curriculum is inferior to what we really need: a competency based curriculum.
According to UP professors, Dr. Dina Ocampo, Cynthia Rose Bautista and Allan Bernardo:
The present learning goals are defined in terms of particular sets and sequences of concepts and procedures. In current reform discourses students need to learn competencies and not just knowledge and skills. A competency is the ability to successfully carry out a task with complex requirements.
Essentially they point out that higher level of thinking needs to be placed in the curriculum to allow carrying out of complex tasks.
In this regard, I think filipino teachers and educators should be become more innovative and always strive to integrate in their delivery: the development of the higher level thinking skills of students like inferring and drawing conclusions.
K-12 is necessary. Nation building needs to tap the private sector to fully realize the benefits of this transition.
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