Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, institutionalizing the ''Kindergarten to Grade 12'' ('K-to-12') program, was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on May 15, 2013. It restructures Philippine basic education and aligns it with global educational standards.
The law covers the mandatory kindergarten among five-year-olds and 12 years of basic education - six years of primary education (Grade 1-2), four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10), and two years of senior high school (Grades 11-12), before the student goes into tertiary education.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is preparing for the full implementation of ''K-to-12'' in 2016. The program was piloted by DepEd in school year 2012-2013 when the curriculum for Grades 1 and 7 was rolled out in 30 public and private schools nationwide. In school year 2013-2014, the curriculum for Grades 2 and 8 will be introduced. Schools operated by the private sector have been urged to begin implementing the reforms in the coming school year.
A salient provision is the implementation of the mother-tongue, multi-lingual approach to teaching from Kindergarten until Grade 3. The language of instruction will then gradually shift to English from Grades 4 to 6 in primary school. Subjects will be taught in English throughout high school. Twelve mother tongues have been identified as medium of instruction until Grade 3 - Bahasa Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, and Waray. From Grades 4 to 6, English and Filipino will be introduced as languages of instruction.
We congratulate H.E., President Benigno S. Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte Jr., and Department of Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, for their combined efforts to keep the Republic of the Philippines at par with other countries by upgrading the quality of basic education and preparing high school graduates for college education, work or employment, making them globally competitive. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!