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DepEd readies plan for K+12 program

First Posted 04:06:00 11/21/2010

MANILA, Philippines?Girding for its planned extension of the basic education cycle from 10 to 12 years, the Department of Education (DepEd) is decongesting the current public school curriculum to ease ?learning fatigue??identified as a leading cause of poor performance and early dropouts among students in public schools.

DepEd Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Yolanda Quijano said the department has sought help from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) to study the 12-year curricula in New South Wales (Australia), Thailand and Vietnam to serve as models for the Philippines.

Quijano said DepEd has finalized its work plan for the implementation of its K+12 (Kindergarten plus 12 years) proposal, which aims to add two years of senior high school to the current 10-year cycle in line with international standards.

Quijano said the department will study which courses and competencies should be introduced in the additional two years, and review items that appear redundant in the current 10-year program.

The department will be looking at the most important skills and subjects that ought to be learned by students in junior high, and what other skills ought to be added for grades 11 and 12, where there would be specializations, Quijano said.

She said some complicated subjects crammed into the existing curriculum will be moved to the senior high school levels.

?They say that there are some subjects in fourth year (in science and math) that are too academic. That?s what we will look at and maybe put that in Grade 11 (senior high school),? Quijano told the Inquirer.

DepEd hopes to usher in the first batch of senior high school entrants under the new K+12 program by school year 2016-2017. It will be holding regional consultations on the proposal.

A major education reform effort of the Aquino administration, the K+12 proposal has been criticized as an additional financial burden on families who can hardly afford to send their children to school.

Student groups have also protested the plan saying DepEd should instead focus on addressing perennial shortages in classrooms, teachers, textbooks and other study materials.

Some universities in Europe and North America, however, no longer recognize a Philippine high school diploma as adequate for admission to their schools because of its missing two years. Many other Asian countries have already adopted the basic 12 year system.

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