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Why Be Negative on K+12 Policy?
Written by Sisa H. Parrera   
Thursday, 07 July 2011

Refusal to change is the person's immediate reaction every time a change has to be imposed. Upon hearing about the DepEd's K+12 policy, a lot of apprehensions had been given by some educators, parents and students.

Financial preparedness of the department for the implementation of this policy has been questioned. Parents perceived that the additional 2 years in high school would be an additional burden to their family's meager income. Students rejected on this policy, because for them, their agony in studying would be prolonged. 

These can be considered as some of the misconceptions about the policy. But, what is indeed K+12 policy?

K+12 is a major education reform program which extends basic education from 10 to 12 years to better prepare students for the world of work, higher education and global employment. It also calls for the unblocking of the curriculum and the inclusion of the various career tracks that students can choose depending on their inclination.

K+12 starts with kindergarten which becomes mandatory for all 5-year old children in public schools starting June this year. This would be followed by 6 years of elementary school, four years of junior or regular high school and two years of senior high school where students would be given various career/ livelihood tracks for their mastery. The expansion of the basic education curriculum from 10 to 12 years is one of the recommendations under the Basic Education Reform Program.

DepEd will also push for the strengthening of techno-vocational schools which currently numbered more than 250 nationwide. Tech-voc is one of the tracks to be included during the 11th and 12th under K+12.

Based on this information, the department is trying to beat the country's problem on illiteracy, incompetency, poverty and unemployment. 

At a very young age of 5 years old, children are already encouraged to study, apparently preparing them to be literate citizens, providing them longer years for their educational development.

After 12 years of education, it is expected that a student would be equipped with all the necessary skills needed to be a prolific citizen.

Moreover, knowing that the policy would be providing for the technological and vocational courses in its 11th and 12th year, it would probably be an advantage to the students to acquire all the skills needed already for their employment even they wouldn't pursue in college.

Students belonging to a poor family would really benefit on this because they could be hired for work right after graduating from senior high school especially when they are already trained in vocational courses which are sometimes in demand abroad. 

In this way, problem on unemployment will somehow be remedied especially when the number of college graduates yearly tends to increase without an assured employment.

DepEd also believes that by putting equal emphasis on the skills and talents of students, the stigma of non-degree courses being inferior to a college diploma will be annihilated.

On the other hand, students who are pursuing in college will become more competent because their basic education somehow provided them the necessary skills required for the possible courses that they may take in college.

Responding to the apprehension of the public on the department's financial incapability in implementing this policy, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said that the department continues to address the resource gaps in basic education such as teacher shortage, classroom backlogs, quality textbooks, ICT equipments and other learning supplements while DepEd fine tunes the proposed curriculum.

This only shows that the department had already envisioned the pros and cons of the policy before the public have thought of their apprehensions, thus, the public need not be negative nor pessimistic on the K+12 policy.

Sisa H. Parrera
Teacher-III SNES

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