LILIAN B. SALAN - K to 12 Basic Education

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ENHANCED K to 12 BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM Source: DepEd.Gov.ph

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Statement of Purpose LILIAN B. SALAN Teacher II

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“ We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding. ” – President Benigno S. Aquino III www.deped.gov.ph

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Rationale Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical. 2. The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students.

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3. International tests results like 2003 TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) rank the Philippines 34 th out of 38 countries in HS II Math and 43rd out of 46 countries in HS II Science;

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for grade 4, the Philippines ranked 23 rd 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.

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Table 1: Philippine Average TIMSS Scores Scores International Average Rank Participating Countries 2003 Results Grade I Science 332 489 23 25 Mathematics 358 495 23 25 HS II Science 377 473 43 46 Mathematics 378 466 34 38 2008 Results Advanced Mathematics 355 500 10 10 Source: TIMMS, 2003 and 2008

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4. The congested curriculum partly explains the present state of education. The current basic education is designed to teach a 12-year curriculum, yet it is delivered in just 10 years.

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5. This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education.

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6. Further, most graduates are too young to enter the labor force. This implies that those who do not pursue higher education would be unproductive or be vulnerable to exploitative labor practices. Those who may be interested to set up business cannot legally enter into contracts.

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Table 2 Unemployment Statistics in the Philippines, 2010 Description Proportion Unemployed Total 15-24 years old 51.5% 80.6% 25-34 years old 29.1% High School Graduates 33.1% 70.9% College Undergraduates 19.3% College Graduates 18.5% Source: NSO, LFS 2010

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7. The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education.

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8. The short duration of the basic education program also puts the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially the professionals, and those who intend to study abroad at a disadvantage (Table 3). Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad.

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Table 3 Comparative Data on the Pre-University Education in Asia Country Basic Education Cycle Total Brunei 12 Cambodia 12 Indonesia 12 Lao PDR 12 Malaysia 12 Myanmar 11 Philippine 10 Singapore 11 Thailand 12 Timor-Leste 12 Vietnam 12 Mongolia recently added grades to make basic education 12 years. Source: Adapted from SEAMEO INNOTECH

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9. More importantly, the short basic education program affects the human development of the Filipino children. A Filipino is legally a child before he or she turns 18 years old.

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A Filipino is legally a child before he or she turns 18 years old. Psychologists and educators say that children under 18 are generally not emotionally prepared for entrepreneurship or employment or higher education disciplines.

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10. Cognizant of this urgent and critical concern and in line with the priorities of the Aquino Administration, the Department of Education is taking bold steps to enhance the basic education curriculum.

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11. The Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program seeks to provide for a quality 12-year basic education program that each Filipino is entitled to. This is consistent with Article XIV, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states that…

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“The State shall establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society.”

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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.

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Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves six or seven years of education; meanwhile secondary education refers to high school. Under the K+12, the intention is not just to add two years of schooling but more importantly to enhance the basic education curriculum.