K TO 12 CURRICULUM AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES
Change. This has been described as the only thing that is constant in this world. In all aspects of our life, there have always been changes or transformations. There was the National Elementary School Curriculum and the New Secondary Education Curriculum when I studied from primary up to the secondary level. Not long after, it was replaced by the Revised Basic Education Curriculum 2002. After I passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers, I started teaching in the public school where we were introduced to the Understanding by Design Model (UBD) 2010 under the Secondary Education Curriculum (SEC) 2010. Two years after that was the implementation of K to 12 Basic Education Program which is also known as Republic Act No. 10533 or “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.” This was signed into law on May 15, 2013 by the former President Aquino. From a 6 years (primary) -4 years (secondary) -4 years (tertiary) educational structure, it is now 1 year (kindergarten)-6 years (primary)-4 years (junior high school) – 2 years (senior high school).
K to 12 means that there will be a mandatory kindergarten plus two additional grade levels with specializations anchored on the college readiness standards of Commission on Higher Education (CHED). There had been a series of long debates about its implementation. One of the major reasons K – 12 Curriculum was disliked was that parents and students felt that it would just prolong the agony of finishing degrees. Moreover, since the Philippines ranked as the last on the International test results, the BEC Curriculum was concluded to be ineffective because the subjects that should be taught for 12 years were condensed into 10 years only.
To examine the goals of the K to 12 curriculum, anyone can say that it must be an excellent program. On the other hand, as a living witness on seeing how it was implemented; my personal opinion is that it was done in a great hurry. With such a haste, other issues were raised regarding its implementation such as: problems of shortage of inputs (chairs, teachers, classrooms, textbooks, etc), erroneous contents of learning materials, and problems with absorbing institutions for students who needed to undergo immersion. Those were and are just a few among the many issues in the K to 12 Curriculum.
These issues must all be addressed in an inclusive and supportive manner. We must squarely face the issues and come up with firm decisions. As Tony Robbins stated that it is in our decisions that our destiny is shaped. The following are suggested action plans to address the issues affecting the K to 12 Curriculum.
SUGGESTED PLAN OF ACTIONS
- CAPACITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES TO HELP SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Evaluate the needs of schools to determine the types of capacity building activities that will be given to School Administrators. Big schools with large enrollment may have different issues compared to small schools with low enrollment. There are differences between districts or divisions. It should address issues not only on present but also on the future. Schools should work cooperatively towards just one mission and one vision. School Heads should be transformational leaders to meet the demands of the fast changing society. Building capacity should be focusing on acquiring, valuing, internalizing, and applying the procedures and techniques to improve the condition or environment for the teachers to be creative.
- CREATE A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE IN WHICH EVERYONE IS INVOLVED IN DECISION MAKING, FOSTER AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND EVERYONE WORKING TOGETHER FOR A COMMON GOAL.
One of the major problems why there are commotions on the side of teachers regarding the policies is that there were no involvement of teachers at all to decision making. Policies are usually handed down from the authorities to the teachers, with no consultation on those people who will really be affected by such. Teachers just passively accept those decisions of authorities even when the decisions are questionable as those decision makers don’t really know the classroom realities. For those reasons communication gaps appeared on what happened with what was and is expected and what really is happening.
- ENSURE THAT AN ARTICULATE AND RELEVANT INFORMATION IS COMMUNICATED OUT TO THE COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS.
Divisions or district offices and principals should work hand in hand to reach the community stakeholders to have an agreement with them regarding work immersions. There should be a strong collaboration between schools and stakeholders to improve students’ outcomes. All efforts must be data driven and goal oriented. With that, the students will be provided experiential learning from the different linkages.
Educators are always seeking for possible solutions to problems. Educators are innovators. In my own opinion, great number of educators around the world are similarly affected, the Philippines is not the only country, which is facing issues in education. Just about, everything there is to know about suggestions regarding those issues might already be known pretty much by everyone elsewhere, and that shouldn’t be surprising at all.
Filipinos are resourceful and can come up with efficient and effective plans of actions. But those plans, shouldn’t be remaining a plan at all. It has to be used in a unique and creative way. One good thing is for other fellow educators to share the same goals and beliefs with these plans of action. Unity, dedication and passion in whatever we do in the name of education are the secret behind every success.
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