K12: Quality over Quantity

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“K12. K12. K12. For a student like me, I disagree with that education plan. Just imagine that I live in this world studying and studying and studying? I’m already a 3rd year student in secondary school and I’m about to graduate next year and expecting to study college. I survived studying in how many years, yet I have to study again for another two years?” (Marie) Complains of a high school student named Marie. We often hear a student complain about having so much workload for school and how they spend so much time studying before they can graduate. Before a Filipino student can get to college, he must earn his diploma by finishing ten years of basic education. Who wouldn’t get tired of going to school five times a week from seven to four pm to study? Everyone went through the point in their lives of being drained of school work. What if the K12 program is implemented? Would students whine even more?

Before anything else, what is the k12 program? It means kindergarten and the twelve years of elementary and secondary education required for a Filipino student. The Department of Education (DepEd) is proposing the K 6-4-2 model which, involves six years of elementary education, 4 years of junior high school, which are grades seven to ten, and two more years of senior year called grade eleven to twelve. The new proposed curriculum has two additional years compared to the current ten year education of the Philippines and will be implemented on the school year 2012-2013 if approved by the Aquino administration. The goal of the K12 program is to change the perception that high school education is just a preparation for college and to create a program that will produce graduates ready to be employed. The new curriculum is focused on using research-based practices with specializations in science and technology, music and arts, agriculture and fisheries, sports, business and entrepreneurship. By adding two more years, the Philippines will achieve high academic standards especially in math, science and English. Not only that, the students will be able to master basic competencies and be socially aware in this fast changing world. Graduates will then be globally competitive and recognized abroad. Most of the government officials support the K12 program. Education Secretary Armin Luistro says in an interview “The current thinking and current culture in the Philippines is that if you don’t finish with a college degree, there is something missing in your life. What should basic education be? To me, what is basic is that high school graduates should be able to live a meaningful life, they should be able to be prepared to start a family, and thirdly they should be able to be productively employed”. (Luistro) The DepEd believes that the enhanced program will help in producing better high school graduates thus, the benefits of the program will outweigh its costs. First of all, adding more years of education will decongest the workload of students giving them more time to master their lessons and they can learn more through experiences outside the classroom. Having higher standards in our education will result to graduates earning high wages in different companies here in the Philippines even without a college diploma. Moreover, through the mastery of basic core subjects, students who will continue on to college will be more prepared and those who wish to study abroad will meet the requirements of the entrance tests and will be recognized as professionals. The program can also improve our country’s economy and social status. The country’s economy will have an accelerated growth because studies in the Philippines show that adding another year in education increases earnings by 7.5% and that improving the quality of education will increase the GDP to 2%. Aside from that, the Philippines will not be the only country in Asia with a ten year basic education program; we will be at par with international standards. The new program seems...
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