“We need to add two years to our basiceducation. Those who can afford pay up tofourteen years of schooling beforeuniversity. Thus, their children are gettinginto the best universities and the best jobsafter graduation. I want at least 12years for our public school children to givethem an even chance at succeeding.” – President Benigno S. Aquino III www.deped.gov.ph
Rationale1. Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical.2. The poor quality of basic educationis reflected in the low achievementscores of Filipino students.
3. International tests results like2003 TIMSS (Trends inInternational Mathematics andScience Study) rank thePhilippines 34th out of 38countries in HS II Math and 43rdout of 46 countries in HS IIScience;
for grade 4, the Philippines ranked 23rd out of 25 participating countries in both Math and Science. In 2008, even with only the science high schools participating in the Advanced Mathematics category, the Philippines was ranked lowest.
Table 1: Philippine Average TIMSS Scores Scores International Rank Participating Average Countries 2003 ResultsGrade IScience 332 489 23 25Mathematics 358 495 23 25HS IIScience 377 473 43 46Mathematics 378 466 34 38 2008 ResultsAdvanced 355 500 10 10MathematicsSource: TIMMS, 2003 and 2008
4. The congested curriculumpartly explains the present stateof education. The current basiceducation is designed to teach a12-year curriculum, yet it isdelivered in just 10 years.
5. This quality ofeducation is reflected in the inadequate preparation of highschool graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education.
6. Further, most graduates are tooyoung to enter the labor force. Thisimplies that those who do not pursuehigher education would be unproductiveor be vulnerable to exploitative laborpractices. Those who may be interestedto set up business cannot legally enterinto contracts.
Table 2 Unemployment Statistics in the Philippines, 2010 Proportion Description Total Unemployed15-24 years old 51.5% 80.6%25-34 years old 29.1%High School 33.1%GraduatesCollege 19.3% 70.9%UndergraduatesCollege 18.5%GraduatesSource: NSO, LFS 2010
7. The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education.
8. The short duration of thebasic education program alsoputs the millions of overseasFilipino workers(OFWs), especially theprofessionals, and those whointend to study abroad at adisadvantage (Table 3). Ourgraduates are not automaticallyrecognized as professionalsabroad.
Table 3 Comparative Data on the Pre-University Education in Asia Country Basic Education Cycle TotalBrunei 12Cambodia 12Indonesia 12Lao PDR 12Malaysia 12Myanmar 11Philippine 10Singapore 11Thailand 12Timor-Leste 12Vietnam 12Mongolia recently added grades to make basic education 12 years.Source: Adapted from SEAMEO INNOTECH
9. More importantly, the short basiceducation program affects thehuman development of the Filipinochildren. A Filipino is legally a childbefore he or she turns 18 years old.
A Filipino is legally a child before he or sheturns 18 years old. Psychologists andeducators say that children under 18 aregenerally not emotionally prepared forentrepreneurship or employment orhigher education disciplines.
10. Cognizant of this urgent and criticalconcern and in line with the prioritiesof the Aquino Administration, theDepartment of Education is taking boldsteps to enhance the basic educationcurriculum.
11. The Enhanced K+12 Basic EducationProgram seeks to provide for a quality12-year basic education program thateach Filipino is entitled to. This isconsistent with Article XIV, Section 2(1)of the 1987 Philippine Constitutionwhich states that…
“The State shall establish, maintain, andsupport a complete, adequate, andintegrated system of education relevantto the needs of the people and society.”
12. K+12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education. Kindergarten refers to the 5-year old cohort that takes a standardized kinder curriculum.
Elementary education refers to primaryschooling that involves six or seven years ofeducation; meanwhile secondary educationrefers to high school. Under the K+12, theintention is not just to add two years ofschooling but more importantly to enhancethe basic education curriculum.