K-12 Education

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In his MINI CRITIQUE column that appears in The Philippine Star, October 14, 2010, Isagani Cruz summarized the following pros and cons on the K+12 debate: The PROS (which is basically the side of the government, well-heeled and articulate leaders from the academe, the business community and the media): 1. “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. One reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on task.” 3. International test results consistently show Filipino students lagging way behind practically everybody else in the world. In the 2008 mathematics exam, for example, we came in dead last. 4. “The congested curriculum partly explains the present state of education.” Twelve years of content are crammed into ten years. 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.” If ten years were adequate, how come employers do not hire fresh high school graduates? How come most high school graduates flunk the UPCAT? 6. “Most graduates are too young to enter the labor force.” Since most children start Grade 1 when they are 6 years old, they do not reach the legal employable age of 18 when they graduate from high school today. 7. “The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education.” Why prioritize the minority of high school graduates that go to college? 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. Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad.” The best examples are our engineering graduates, who are condemned to international...
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