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The topic of this paper is the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) of the Philippines to impose the 12- year school curriculum instead of the 10- year curriculum being followed. This is to help incoming college students by teaching specializations to them before they graduate. It is currently being studied by DepEd to further analyze the proposal. This topic affects the political, social and economic context of the country.
This topic is chosen by the researcher because education is under the social development sector. And education (literacy rate and enrollment rate) is part of the measurement for the human development index. It is regarded as a right of everyone according to the Philippine Constitution. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) handbook, one of their objectives is to have a better equality in services for all. And the World Bank (WB) points out that poverty can be reduced if there is an equal access to opportunities. This topic aims to highlight the importance of educational opportunities to every person.
The researcher plans on comparing the 12- year curriculum versus to the 10- year school curriculum. This is for the readers to better analyze the difference between the two programs. This paper also aims to analyze the objectives of imposing the 12- year curriculum. It would also discuss the effects or advantages and disadvantages of both curriculums. The researcher also plans to interview credible people on their stand and opinion about the topic. The paper will contain an analysis of the implication of the proposal of DepEd. The paper will also be containing the constitutional article indicating the right to education. And the sources that will be used for the paper are newspaper articles and magazine articles since this issue is new.
The researcher aims to answer the questions, if the plan of the 12- year curriculum is imposed, could this help improve the quality of education in our country? Are the objectives of the project possible to accomplish? And could the 12- year curriculum help in the unemployment of high school graduates?
Background and Case facts
Education is regarded as a right of every person in our country. In Article 14, section 1 of the 1987 Philippine constitution, it is stated that "The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all."
Just a few months ago, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that they are planning on imposing the 12- year school curriculum being followed by other countries such as the United States of America. According to DepEd (2010), this is to aid the students to learn vocational courses so that they could work immediately, if they are in their legal age already, if they can't continue their tertiary education. DepEd is planning on adding 2 extra years to teach specializations such as agriculture to incoming college students.
The K+12 issue affects the students, parents, government and the labor force if ever it will be imposed. For the students, it would be of their advantage because they would meet the 12- year education world standard. For the parents, this would be a burden because of financial matters. But according to the presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda (2010), the additional 2 years of education would be the added to the government's expenses. So the parents would only be burdened by other educational expenses such as the allowance of their children and such. For the government, it would be a problem in terms of budget. They added this to their expenses so it would be a problem of where to get the money. They would need to pay teachers to teach the specializations for 2 years. We already have a problem on the ratio of student- teachers, student- books and student- classrooms. But according to the president's education adviser Juan Miguel Luz (2010), the budget for this plan is going to be from the "revenue previously lost to corruption". And finally, for our labor force, this would be an advantage because they would have more laborers with greater intelligence and skills.
Another problem in this topic is, if we follow the 12- year school curriculum, would job opportunities be higher? Our country experiences high unemployment rates but if job opportunities are opened for us, there might be a better chance of having a labor force capable of a more productive work if the goal of K+12 is met.
This topic would have a lot of consequences, based on the objectives of the program, when not solved immediately. First, our high school graduates would have a greater risk of not being employed or being employed but receiving low- income if they cannot continue their tertiary education. Second, the graduates of college might have a hard time of finding a job abroad after graduating because they do not meet the 12- year education requirement. And lastly, the labor force of our country might not progress if the graduates settle for jobs that are not in line with their specializations.
Ever since, the Philippines is following the 10- year school curriculum for education. It is 6 years in elementary and 4 years in high school. Figure 1 illustrates the 10- year curriculum plus the tertiary level of the Philippines.
Figure 1.Source: http://www.ibe.unesco.org/curriculum/China/Pdf/IIphilippines.pdf
Only schools like La Salle, Ateneo and the likes are following an 11- year curriculum which includes 7 years of elementary and 4 years of high school. But everybody knows that only a few portion of the society can afford to attend in schools like these. How about the rest of the Filipino people? Well, this proposal is for them. According to DepEd (2010), among all college students, only 16% of them finish college. This plan is for the other students who cannot finish their tertiary education.
The 12 year curriculum was made public last October 5, 2010. The K+ 12 would basically be 6 years in elementary, 4 years in junior high school and 2 years in senior high school. According to DepEd (2010), the "program aims to match basic education cycles in most countries in the world, and to produce skilled and "employable" high school graduates." This is to respond to the problem stated above which is the unemployment of high school graduates who are unable to continue their tertiary education. DepEd (2010) said that aside from agriculture, other specializations that will be taught as well such as entrepreneurship and sports. They revealed that instead of receiving 2 diplomas (grade 6 and 4th year high school), students under the 12- year curriculum will be receiving 3 diplomas; one for elementary, one for junior high school and one for senior high school. They are already fixing the problem with the lack of classrooms but they also revealed that this plan would charge P62.8 billion to the taxpayers in our country. And they said that they plan to impose kindergarten by school year 2011- 2012 and the 12- year curriculum would be imposed the following school year 2012- 2013.
Acosta, N. D. (2010). Philippines For 12 Year Basic Education. Retrieved from http://noeldcosta.com/philippines-for-12-year-basic-education/223218.
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved from http://www.chanrobles.com/article14.htm.
Corpuz, N. (2010). DepEd bares 12-year basic education plan. Retrieved from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/08/09/10/deped-bares-12-year-basic-education-plan.
Corpuz, N. (2010). No abrupt shift to 12-year education: Luistro. Retrieved from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/youth/10/05/10/no-abrupt-shift-12-year-education-luistro.
Marinas, B. (N/A). Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/curriculum/China/Pdf/IIphilippines.pdf.
Pedrasa, I. (2010).12-year education cycle to cost P100-B. Retrieved from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/06/17/10/12-year-education-cycle-cost-p100-b.