By Nikka Garriga
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA—The country's formal education system will now take its monumental shift with the formal launching of the K to 12 reformed basic education program on June.
Full implementation is set this year, starting with the universal kindergarten program. Filipino children aged five years-old are now required to spend two years in kindergarten before entering Grade 1.
Grades 11 to 12 will be added in the high school level for academic school years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018.
Department of Education (DepEd) chief Armin Luistro said the reform would focus on two vital factors: curriculum reform and innovation.
A Multi-Satkeholder Task Force has been established to study the effective implementation of the new curriculum along with the necessary preparations for the transition.
The DepEd initially released the model for the K to 12 program two years ago. This enhanced framework integrates science and technology, music and arts, agriculture and fisheries, business and entrepreneurship and subjects for advanced placements.
In his speech during the formal launch of the program, President Benigno Aquino III stressed that this systemic reform would result to a stronger education system for the long run despite issues that may arise during the transition phase.
Aquino added that the government is now looking at transforming textbooks to tablet-based reading materials to help make students more IT-equipped.
The Philippines is the only country in Asia and among the three remaining countries in the world with a ten-year basic education cycle.
Data from the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB) cited that fewer students graduate from courses related to fields to the country's growth industries such as education science, engineering and technology.
Senator Edgardo Angara has emphasized the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure that effectivity of the program.
“This is a significant challenge—one that cannot be achieved in just one year, or in the span of one administration. But the process of change must start now. The K to 12 reforms are a work in progress which requires our continuous dialogue and cooperation,” Angara said.
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