Context: The Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university school curriculum. Furthermore, a 13-year programme is found to be best for acquiring a basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally. The K to 12 Program adds two more years to basic education that will equip learners with skills that prepare them for the future, whether it be employment, entrepreneurship, skills development or higher education.
Implementation of programme/initiative: Republic Act No. 10533 is a law enhancing the Philippine Basic Education system by strengthening its curriculum and increasing the number of years for basic education, as well as appropriating funds thereof.
The implementation of the enhanced curriculum for Grades 1-7 started in the school year 2012-2013 and the curriculum for Grades 11-12 finished in 2014. Senior High School was implemented in the school year 2016-2017. High school students can now choose between different tracks to shape their career. The College General Education curriculum will then have fewer units, as some subjects would have been covered in the Basic Education curriculum.
To better facilitate the implementation of the programme, the government has built more classrooms, hired more teachers and produced more updated textbooks.
Main challenges: Many in the general public are not convinced of the benefits of the programme and see it as more of a burden. This is because adding more years of schooling requires families to spend more money to send their children to school. As such, there is the concern that this may lead to more dropouts in the future. There are still many shortages in inputs, but the Department of Education has made many efforts to fill the gaps.
Results achieved: The main results of the programme that have been achieved since the beginning of its implementation are as follows:
- As of 2017, the last batch (Grades 6 and 12) to start the programme had been enrolled
- The Department of Education (DepEd) reports that 66,813 classrooms were built from 2010-2013, 33,608 classrooms were under construction and completed in 2014, 2,847 permits were issued to private high schools and 128,105 new teacher items were opened
- The K-to-12 curriculum has been completed and is available on the DepEd website
Moving Forward: For programme implementation to be successful appropriate funding provision is essential. As mandated by the Philippine Constitution, the government must allocate the highest proportion of its budgetary needs to education. By 2018, all the K-to-12 levels will be implemented nationwide.
Replicability: The K-to-12 system is itself a replica, as a consequence of the Philippines being one of the last countries to implement such a system. Its replicability, especially in terms of broader success in expanding education, lies in the adaptability of the community and the long-term commitment to educational development by all relevant stakeholders.
Date: October 11, 2017