MANILA, Philippines - "We call it officially 'K to 12' not 'K+12'."
This is what Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro said while explaining the department's preference for "K to 12" to refer to DepEd's flagship "Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Program."
While there are several variations of the 12-year basic education model used abroad with different names such as "K-12", "K+12", and "K12", Luistro said that the DepEd Steering Committee preferred the use of "K to 12" as it "captures the fact that not all features are new."
He said that "K+12" may "mislead people that it's only 12 years and not a total of 13."
The term "K-12", on the other hand, is not also used because "it sometimes read wrongly as 'K minus 12'," said Luistro.
Under the new K to 12 program, there will be compulsory Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12), he said.
The DepEd chief said the K to 12 Steering Committee-composed of members from the DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-is responsible for gath ering necessary information that will supplement the queries on the proposed model opted to use "K to 12" which highlights not only the additional years in basic education but the design of the curriculum as well.
"Our 'K to 12' is not just about ading years but more on the curriculum [which] is designed as a continuum using the spiral approach and also ladderized for greater mobility from one grade level to another," Luistro said.
The coming school year will mark the second phase of the K to 12 Program through the implementation of new curriculum for incoming Grade 1 and Grade 7 (first year high school) students which will highlight the use of mother tongue-based multi-lingual education and Spiral Approach.
With the passage of the Universal Kindergarten Law (Republic Act 10157) early this year, DepEd said that no Grade 1 student shall be accepted this coming June without attending Kindergarten.