EVEN as she is repeatedly announcing the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to review the K to 12 Curriculum, Secretary Leonor Briones tries to shield the controversial system, inviting doubts on her intent and capacity to conduct the review clinically.
In her bid to present the K to 12 in a favorable light, she does not shy from making baseless assertions and worst, she even disregards the National Achievement Test (NAT). Apparently, she has prejudged the subject of the impending scrutiny.
Either the official was not aware of the dismal results of the debut of the Grade 12 in the NAT in 2018 or in her zeal to defend the K to 12, she refuses to be bothered by facts.
Her assertion that the K to 12 is a better system is destroyed by the fact that in the first six years of the curriculum, the Grade 6 NAT mean percentage score (MPS) had gone down from 66.79 to 37.44 or by 29.35 points (43.95 percent). The Grade 10 MPS also suffered a 3.31 or 8.92 percent loss (from 48.90 to 44.59) from 2012 to 2018.
By their pronouncements, Secretary Briones and other DepEd officials have owned the dismal NAT numbers during the K to 12 era. Last September, the DepEd cited what they called “low proficiency” performance of students in the NAT as one of the reasons Congress should augment their initially allotted budget for 2020 and as reason for the conduct of a curriculum review. And they stated that the Pisa results resemble the NAT results. They do not question the Pisa results.
In an interview, Briones said, without presenting a shred of proof, that the K to 12 Curriculum is not the cause of the low rank of the country in the Pisa. She knew better than that.
Thanks to Secretary Briones’s desperate attempt to foist the K to 12 on the country, it has become even clearer we have a lemon curriculum that must either be scrapped or overhauled immediately. That we landed in the bottom of the Pisa ranking and are a level lower in Grade 6 NAT in the seventh year of K to 12 Curriculum can speak for itself. Prolonging the DepEd wild goose chase after the double whammy would be the height of insanity and stupidity, specially so that the future of our young is at stake. (By Estanislao C. Albano Jr.)