SALIENT POINT OF K-12 PROGRAM
The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education
(six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of
Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and
skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education,
middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.
Every Filipino child now has access to early childhood education through
Universal Kindergarten. At 5 years old, children start schooling and are given the
means to slowly adjust to formal education.
Research shows that children who underwent Kindergarten have better completion
rates than those who did not. Children who complete a standards-based
Kindergarten program are better prepared, for primary education.
Education for children in the early years lays the foundation for lifelong learning
and for the total development of a child. The early years of a human being, from 0
to 6 years, are the most critical period when the brain grows to at least 60-70
percent of adult size..
[Ref: K to 12 Toolkit]
In Kindergarten, students learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors through
games, songs, and dances, in their Mother Tongue.
Examples, activities, songs, poems, stories, and illustrations are based on local
culture, history, and reality. This makes the lessons relevant to the learners and
easy to understand.
Students acquire in-depth knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes through
continuity and consistency across all levels and subjects.
Discussions on issues such as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Climate Change
Adaptation, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) are included in the
Students are able to learn best through their first language, their Mother Tongue
(MT). Twelve (12) MT languages have been introduced for SY 2012-2013: Bahasa
Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan,
Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, and Waray. Other local languages will be added in
succeeding school years.
Aside from the Mother Tongue, English and Filipino are taught as subjects starting
Grade 1, with a focus on oral fluency. From Grades 4 to 6, English and Filipino are
gradually introduced as languages of instruction. Both will become primary
languages of instruction in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School
After Grade 1, every student can read in his or her Mother Tongue. Learning in
Mother Tongue also serves as the foundation for students to learn Filipino and
Subjects are taught from the simplest concepts to more complicated concepts
through grade levels in spiral progression. As early as elementary, students gain
knowledge in areas such as Biology, Geometry, Earth Science, Chemistry, and
Algebra. This ensures a mastery of knowledge and skills after each level.
For example, currently in High School, Biology is taught in 2nd Year, Chemistry in
3rd Year, and Physics in 4th Year. In K to 12, these subjects are connected and
integrated from Grades 7 to 10. This same method is used in other Learning Areas
Senior High School is two years of specialized upper secondary education; students
may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The
choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in
Grades 11 and 12. SHS subjects fall under either the Core Curriculum or specific
There are seven Learning Areas under the Core Curriculum. These are Languages,
Literature, Communication, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social
Sciences. Current content from some General Education subjects are embedded in
the SHS curriculum.
Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic;
Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes
three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education,
Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
Students undergo immersion, which may include earn-while-you-learn opportunities,
to provide them relevant exposure and actual experience in their chosen track.
TVET (Technical Vocational Education & Training) National Certificate
After finishing Grade 10, a student can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC)
or a National Certificate Level I (NC I). After finishing a Technical-Vocational-
Livelihood track in Grade 12, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II
(NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
NC I and NC II improves employability of graduates in fields like Agriculture,
Electronics, and Trade.
Modeling Best Practices for Senior High School
In SY 2012-2013, there are 33 public high schools, public technical-vocational high
schools, and higher education institutions (HEIs) that have implemented Grade 11.
This is a Research and Design (R&D) program to simulate different aspects of
Senior High School in preparation for full nationwide implementation in SY 2016-
2017. Modeling programs offered by these schools are based on students’
interests, community needs, and their respective capacities.
Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino (College and Livelihood Readiness, 21st
After going through Kindergarten, the enhanced Elementary and Junior High
curriculum, and a specialized Senior High program, every K to 12 graduate will be
ready to go into different paths – may it be further education, employment, or
Every graduate will be equipped with:
1. Information, media and technology skills,
2. Learning and innovation skills,
3. Effective communication skills, and
4. Life and career skills.
WHAT ARE THE SUBJECTS TAUGHT IN K-12 PROGRAM?
The program will run on a K-6-4-2 education model, wherein a student has to
study in grade school for 6 years, in junior high school for 4 years (grades 7 to 10),
and in senior high school for two years (grades 11 to 12).
The incoming grade 1 students of school year 2012-2011 are the so-called "guinea
pigs" of the program. DepEd started implementing its revised curriculum last
school year, when these students were in kindergarten.
Starting with this batch, no public school student in the Philippines will be
admitted to Grade 1 without taking up kindergarten.
Private schools are also covered by the program, but officials have yet to discuss
Based on the curriculum guide provided by DepEd, the incoming grade 1 students
will be taking up 6 subjects for an entire school year. Each subject will be taught
for a maximum of 40 minutes per day:
Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue - 40 minutes
Oral Fluency in Filipino - 40 minutes
Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) - 30 minutes
Mathematics or Arithmetic - 30 minutes
Araling Panlipunan (AP) - 30 minutes
Music, Arts, Physical Education, Health (MAPEH) - 30 minutes
When the second half of the school year comes, a 7th subject, Oral Fluency in
English, will be introduced. This subject will be taught for 40 minutes.
Despite the increase in the number of subjects, the total hours to be spent by a
first grader in school would still be less.
Before this, the grade 1 level used to have only 4 subjects, each lasting an hour or
English - 100 minutes per day
Filipino - 80 minutes per day
Mathmatics - 80 minutes per day
Sibika at Kultura - 60 minutes per day
This set of subjects, along with the schedule, was introduced when DepEd
overhauled its curriculum in 2002. Among the features of this revised curriculum is
the inclusion of the subject Makabayan.
Makabayan was not offered to students in grades 1 to 3, but some concepts of the
subject were integrated in Sibika at Kultura.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro explained that the shortened time will "make
education less stressful and more enjoyable for our young learners."
DepEd has already prepared revised curriculums for grades 2 to 6, but these will
not yet be implemented until the incoming grade 1 students reach these levels.
Incoming grade 2 to 6 students in June 2012 will not be covered anymore by the
new program -- at least for the duration of their stay in grade school.
Still no Science
Just like in the old curriculum, Science will still not be offered as a separate
subject to grade 1 students.
In the 2002 revised curriculum, Science and Health concepts were integrated in
English. But in the new program, Science will be integrated into more subjects:
Mother Tongue, English, Health, and Math.
In a forum with businessmen on March 28, Luistro explained that DepEd wants to
promote the idea that "science is a study of everyday life."
"These concepts and skills are integrated rather than discipline-based, stressing
the connections across science topics and other disciplines as well as applications
of concepts and thinking skills to real life," he said.
Just like in the old curriculum, the K to 12 program will offer Science as a separate
subject starting grade 3.
High school freshmen included
The revised curriculum will also be introduced to incoming high school freshmen, or
the grade 7 students.
They will have 2 years added in their high school period. The additional years will
offer students subjects or electives that will offer specialization depending on the
occupation or career track that students wish to pursue.
Incoming 2nd to 4th year high school students will not encounter these additional
years in high school anymore.
Based on the curriculum guide by DepEd, grade 7 will have the same subjects as in
grade 1, minus the Mother Tongue subject, since this will be offered from grades 1
to 3 only. But the high school freshmen will have the Technology and Livelihood
Education (TLE) subject, which will offer various skill-enhancing topics for the
entire high school level.
Though incoming students in grades 2 to 6 in June 2012 will not be covered by the
new program in the grade school level, they will be affected once they reach high
HOW THE ASSESSMENT IS DONE?
According to Dr. Raymond Yeagley “I believe the highest value of student
assessment is to provide data and information that can support and facilitate
stronger instruction and increased student learning. As we develop assessments,
whether teacher-created tests for a single classroom or large-scale assessments
given to millions of students (frequently referred to as standardized tests), it is
crucial that we keep student benefit in the forefront of our thinking.”
We do this, of course, at a time when assessments – virtually all assessments – are
coming under attack. While challenging, it is important we determine the right
amount and kind of assessment needed for a school or classroom. To get there, we
must understand test purposes and identify appropriate uses of the test. In a 2012
study conducted for the Northwest Evaluation Association by Grunwald Associates,
parents, teachers and administrators saw great value in assessment that helps to
monitor individual student progress over time and provides information to the
teacher early enough to inform instructional planning.
There are large-scale assessments designed with a purpose of tracking growth
over time and of providing the teacher with almost immediate information on
individual student achievement and growth. These data can facilitate temporary
grouping, differentiation of instruction based on student need, and can give
evidence of content coverage at the school and district level as related to state
content standards. These tests have been validated for this purpose and have
established a track record for reliability and usefulness in informing instruction.
When these tests are used for purposes not intended in the original test design,
such as teacher evaluation, there is a new challenge. That challenge is to establish,
with research evidence, whether the test is valid for the new purpose and whether
that purpose has value for students.
Those who develop assessments have a responsibility to share the evidence that
established validity and reliability for the test purposes they support. They also
have a responsibility to respond to questions about whether their tests have been
validated for other purposes. But they must be mindful that states and school
districts have the right to decide how to use their own student data. If the tests
are to be used for purposes not currently supported by empirical evidence, as is
the case with using previously developed student assessments to determine
educator effectiveness, then the users share in the responsibility of providing the
evidence of validity for the other purposes and for creating or securing the tools
needed to implement the new purpose in a responsible way.
In the current debates about appropriate testing in the schools, those on both
sides of the issue need to take a careful look, not only at the quality of the tests,
but also at how those tests are to be used. Rhetoric that a particular test is not
valid often ignores the question, “valid for what?”
If increased student learning is our shared top priority, we must ensure that
teachers have all of the tools deemed useful to the process. Used correctly, high
quality assessment is such a tool, empowering teachers and guiding student
Assessment is a central element in the overall quality of teaching and learning in
higher education. Well designed assessment sets clear expectations, establishes a
reasonable workload (one that does not push students into rote reproductive
approaches to study), and provides opportunities for students to self-monitor,
rehearse, practise and receive feedback. Assessment is an integral component of a
coherent educational experience.
The ideas and strategies in the Assessing Student Learning resources support
three interrelated objectives for quality in student assessment in higher
1. assessment that guides and encourages effective
approaches to learning;
2. assessment that validly and reliably measures
expected learning outcomes, in particular the
higher-order learning that characterises higher
3. assessment and grading that defines and protects
The relationship between assessment practices and the overall quality of teaching
and learning is often underestimated, yet assessment requirements and the clarity
of assessment criteria and standards significantly influence the effectiveness of
student learning. Carefully designed assessment contributes directly to the way
students approach their study and therefore contributes indirectly, but
powerfully, to the quality of their learning.
For most students, assessment requirements literally define the curriculum.
Assessment is therefore a potent strategic tool for educators with which to spell
out the learning that will be rewarded and to guide students into effective
approaches to study. Equally, however, poorly designed assessment has the
potential to hinder learning or stifle curriculum innovation.
16 indicators of effective assessment in higher education
A checklist for quality in student assessment
1. Assessment is treated by staff and students as an integral and prominent
component of the entire teaching and learning process rather than a final
adjunct to it.
2. The multiple roles of assessment are recognised. The powerful motivating
effect of assessment requirements on students is understood and
assessment tasks are designed to foster valued study habits.
3. There is a faculty/departmental policy that guides individuals’ assessment
practices. Subject assessment is integrated into an overall plan for course
4. There is a clear alignment between expected learning outcomes, what is
taught and learnt, and the knowledge and skills assessed — there is a closed
and coherent ‘curriculum loop’.
5. Assessment tasks assess the capacity to analyse and synthesis new
information and concepts rather than simply recall information previously
6. A variety of assessment methods is employed so that the limitations of
particular methods are minimised.
7. Assessment tasks are designed to assess relevant generic skills as well as
subject-specific knowledge and skills.
8. There is a steady progression in the complexity and demands of assessment
requirements in the later years of courses.
9. There is provision for student choice in assessment tasks and weighting at
10. Student and staff workloads are considered in the scheduling and design of
11. Excessive assessment is avoided. Assessment tasks are designed to sample
12. Assessment tasks are weighted to balance the developmental (‘formative’)
and judgemental (‘summative’) roles of assessment. Early low-stakes, low-
weight assessment is used to provide students with feedback.
13. Grades are calculated and reported on the basis of clearly articulated
learning outcomes and criteria for levels of achievement.
14. Students receive explanatory and diagnostic feedback as well as grades.
15. Assessment tasks are checked to ensure there are no inherent biases that
may disadvantage particular student groups.
16. Plagiarism is minimised through careful task design, explicit education and
appropriate monitoring of academic honesty.
What students value in assessment
Unambiguous expectations Students study more effectively when they know what
they are working towards. Students value, and expect, transparency in the way
their knowledge will be assessed: they wish to see a clear relationship between
lectures, tutorials, practical classes and subject resources, and what they are
expected to demonstrate they know and can do. They are also wish to understand
how grades are determined and they expect timely feedback that 1) explains the
grade they have received, 2) rewards their achievement, as appropriate, and 3)
offers suggestions for how they can improve.
‘Authentic’ tasks Students value assessment tasks they perceive to be ‘real’:
assessment tasks that present challenges to be taken seriously, not only for the
grades at stake, but also for the nature of the knowledge and skills they are
expected to demonstrate. Students value assessment tasks they believe mirror the
skills needed in the workplace. Students are anxious to test themselves and to
compare their performance against others. Assessment tasks that students
perceive to be trivial or superficial are less likely to evoke a strong commitment to
Choice and flexibility Many students express a strong preference for choices in
the nature, weighting and timing of assessment tasks. This preference for
‘negotiated’ assessment is a logical extension of the trend towards offering
students more flexible ways of studying and more choice in study options. Students
who seek ‘more say’ in assessment often say they prefer to be assessed in ways
that show their particular skills in the best light. They also argue they will study
more effectively if they can arrange their timetables for submitting assessable
work to suit their overall workload. Providing higher education students with
options in assessment — in a carefully structured way — is worth considering in
many higher education courses though it is not a common practice. Encouraging
students to engage with the curriculum expectations in this way should assist them
in becoming more autonomous and independent learners.
Re-positioning the role of assessment
Capturing the full educational benefits of well-designed assessment requires many
of the conventional assumptions about assessment in higher education to be
For academic staff, assessment is often a final consideration in their planning of
the curriculum. This is not to imply staff underestimate or undervalue the role or
importance of assessment, but assessment is often considered once other
curriculum decisions have been made. The primary concerns of academic staff are
often with designing learning outcomes and planning teaching and learning activities
that will produce these outcomes. In contrast, students often work ‘backwards’
through the curriculum, focusing first and foremost on how they will be assessed
and what they will be required to demonstrate they have learned.
How academic staff
view teaching and
How students view
What course content
should be taught?
What should students
In what ways am I
going to be
What do I need to
What teaching and
learning methods are
assessment as a
strategic tool for
What then are the
What approaches to
study should I
How can student
learning be assessed?
Assessment can be
staff in the design
of the teaching and
usually at the
perception of the
For teaching staff, recognising the potent effects of assessment requirements on
student study habits and capitalising on the capacity of assessment for creating
preferred patterns of study is a powerful means of reconceptualising the use of
But designing assessment to influence students’ patterns of study in positive ways
can present significant challenges. Assessment in higher education must serve a
number of purposes. The overall cycle of student assessment (from the design and
declaration of assessment tasks, to the evaluation and reporting of student
achievement) must not only guide student approaches to study and provide
students with feedback on their progress, but also must determine their readiness
to proceed to the next level of study, judge their ‘fitness to practice’ and
ultimately protect and guarantee academic standards. These purposes are often
loosely placed in two categories, developmental (‘formative’ — concerned with
students’ ongoing educational progression) and judgmental (‘summative’ — where
the emphasis is on making decisions on satisfactory completion or readiness to
progress to the next level of study). Both are legitimate purposes for assessment
in higher education and effective assessment programs must be designed with both
considerations in mind.