Enhanced K-12 basic education

MANILA, Philippines - The debate continues on whether the government should put its limited resources on the Enhanced K-12 Basic Education Program which will add two years to our present 10-year basic education. The enhanced K-12 program as many now know, will have kindergarten, 6 years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10), and two years of senior high school.

According to the 2010 Department of Education Briefing Report, the last two years (Grades 11 and 12) will provide time for the student to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies. Universal kindergarten will be offered starting 2011 after which DepEd will begin unclogging its basic education curriculum by 2012. It plans to complete the enhanced 12-year curriculum and start with incoming Grade 1 students of SY 2012-13. The rationale for the two years is to decongest and enhance basic education curricula, provide quality learning, and be at par with other countries in Asia which provide more years for basic education. It is also based on studies which show that improvements in the quality of education will increase the GDP growth by as much as 2 percent and will have a positive impact on society.

Today, we have a 12-year curriculum that is being delivered in 10 years. The negative consequences, as studies show are, that high school graduates are shown to lack basic competencies and maturity.They are yet legally unable to enter into contracts and are found emotionally immature for entrepreneurship employment.

At the Lower House, the representatives are divided on the issue. Rep.Edgardo Angara welcomes it, saying that the high unemployment rate is caused by lack of skills and competencies.

K-12 then could open doors for more jobs for youth without a college diploma. Rep. Karlo Nograles and several others disagree. The former notes that while it is ideal, it is unrealistic and may drive more youths to drop out of school. Rep. Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan Party Youth Party-list thinks that it is whimsical for a country that has one of the lowest budgets for education. It is also extra expense in a society where a majority is impoverished. It could also reinforce cheap semi-skilled labor for foreign markets.

The Fund for Assistance to Private Education or FAPE sees no clear correlation between length of schooling and students' performance. It cites the example of how students from Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong - all with shorter education cycles - were able to obtain higher scores than American students who go through a 15-year basic and secondary education cycle. I had the same experience during the early seventies while teaching at the University of Hawaii. Most of my students in the top ten were foreign students or immigrants from Korea, China, and Japan. In a future column, I will cite Time Magazine's cover essay, ''The Truth About Tiger Moms,'' which relates the experiences of a mother's memoir of ''tough love parenting.'' I thought this could partly explain the high achievement rate in these tiger economies.

Meanwhile, we trust that the debate especially among the young, would continue. Much of it does focus on the cost which is estimated at P150 billion for the following additional requirements: 152,569 new classrooms, 103,599 more teachers, 956 million more books, and 13.2 million seats. In any case, UNESCO recommends that government spend at least 6 percent of its GDP for education. But last year, our investment in public education was only 3.3% of our GDP as compared with Malaysia which was 7.4%, and Thailand, 4%. This is sad because while today, we are 7th in the ASEAN, in 1990, we were fourth and ahead of Thailand and Indonesia. This explains why among all the 8 Millennium Development Goals, we lagged the most in education.

This alarming deterioration in our educational system explains my support for the K-12 program which, however, must be viewed within a comprehensive context and related with other problems such as health, poverty, and corruption. Poor health, nutrition, and poverty are also the main causes for the high percentage of school dropout. The current pursuit of means to end corruption in the AFP and other government institutions must continue. The scams which have become a regular practice in our bureaucracy, have prevented the flow of funds to where they should be channeled - education and other development reforms. My e-mail is florbraid@yahoo.com.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options