Enhancing the Quality of Education in the Philippines Essay

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Enhancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines is urgent and critical. Due to that, one of the discussions of DepEd which incurred last October 2010 is to enhance the basic education program of the country in a manner that is least disruptive to the current curriculum, most affordable to government and families, and aligned with international practice through the K-12 policy. The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. Many students who finish basic education do not possess sufficient mastery of basic competencies.

One reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on task. This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education. High school graduates also do not possess the basic competencies or emotional maturity essential for the world of work. 1 While the availability of economic opportunities contributes to this, it also illustrates the mismatch in the labor and education markets.

The World Bank Philippines Skills Report in 2009 reveals, based on a survey of employers, serious gaps in critical skills of graduates such as problem-solving, initiative and creativity, and, to a lesser extent, gaps in job specific technical skills. The enhanced K-12 program, or the Department of Educations (DepEd) proposal to overhaul the basic and secondary education curriculum by adding two more years to the system is arguably one of the most drastic and controversial programs of the Aquino administration. The program is proposed to start in school year 2012-2013 for Grade 1 and first year high school students with

the target of full implementation by SY 2018-2019. According to SEAMEO Innotech 2011, which is considered as the preferred education solutions provider in Southeast Asia and also an ISO 9001: 2008 Certified, the Philippine is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries in the world with a 10-year pre-university program. The K-12 model to be implemented in the country is an educational system for basic and secondary education patterned after the United States, Canada, and some parts of Australia. The current basic education system is also an archetype of American schooling but with a 10-year cycle.

DepEd reasons that it is high time to adopt a K-12 system, attributing the low achievement scores and poor quality of basic education to the present school setup. Following wide protests over the proposal, the department released its official position defending K-12. 2 We need to add two years to our basic education, those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.

quoted from the statement of His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III. K-12 has been met with criticism from youth and student groups, teachers, parents and the academic community. The DepEd, for its part, appears determined to enact the program with its proposed budget catering mostly to preparing the grounds for its eventual implementation. The DepEd argues that the K-12 program will be the solution to yearly basic education woes and the deteriorating quality of education. Critics, however, counteract that the education crisis needs to be addressed more fundamentally and adding more school years would only exacerbate the situation.

With the proposed policy K-12 program, various arguments and criticisms were formulated. Different conditions generate different assumptions, which in turn create different policies. The success of any policy depends on the correctness of its policy assumptions. 3 Taking this fact into consideration, questions take place, should policy assumptions be made based on current realities? Or should policy be based on policy conditions as expected to happen, but which may not exist by the time the policy implementation was started?

The below mentioned problems are just some of the queries where necessary answers are in need to be sought in order to satisfy uncertainties with regards to the implementation of this educational changes provided in K-12 Policy. PROBLEMS 1. What is the status of the countrys educational resources as to: * teaching force; * facilities and equipments; * learning materials; and * budget? ; 2. What are the provisions of the policy to the following direct entities? * family; * manpower;? and instructional apparatus**? ; 3. What is the level of preparedness of the concerned implementing

stakeholders e. g. DepEd, CHED as to the execution of this educational reformation? and 4. What is the level of acceptance of the following affected stakeholders: * teaching staff; * parents; and * students? 5. What is the level of capability of the following affected stakeholders? * teaching staff; * parents; and students? OBJECTIVES The formulation of policy for the K+12 Education System requires rigorous systems analysis. Many patchworks of issues, opinions and statistical analysis have already been presented by so many sectors in so many meetings and consultations.

But what is more important to see now is the entire picture, the whole tapestry of Cause-Effects and Costs-Benefits that the policy, if adopted, will create. The following are the main objectives of the K-12 policy as stated in their guiding principles4: 1. To enhance the curriculum of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program as the central focus. The curriculum enhancement will be designed in line with the desired competencies and skills of a K+12 graduate. The Department of Education will constitute a body to review the current basic education curriculum and detail the implementation plan.

2. To develop tracks based on different competencies and/or student interest as an integral component of the program. Basic education program should develop tracks based on competencies to meet the countrys varied human capital requirements, and to prepare students for productive endeavor. The SHS curriculum will offer areas of specialization or electives.

3. To enhance the basic education curriculum being undertaken hand in hand with the vigorous efforts to ensure adequacy of inputs as part of the bigger basic education reform, Expanding the education program (additional years of schooling) will be pursued mindful of the need to address the input shortages teachers, classrooms, desks, water and sanitation, and quality textbooks.

DepEd already included a provision for substantial physical requirements for 2011 budget, and is looking to introduce in subsequent years a budget that will constitute a significant increase not just in nominal terms but also in real terms. 4. To alter change in two-fold: curriculum enhancement and transition management.

The intention of K+12 is not merely to add two years of schooling but more importantly, to enhance the basic education curriculum. DepEd is preparing a carefully sequenced implementation plan to ensure smooth transition with the least disruption. 5. To have an open and consultative process to be adopted in the promotion of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program. In accordance with the Tao ang Boss principle, an open and consultative process will be adopted to ensure the successful development and implementation of the K+12 program. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.

Many of us believe that in order for a person to achieve his success, he must have a good background in education and the attitude of a survivor. A great education begins with the desire to learn (Osterberg, 2004). Education is important in everybody. It gives us knowledge about the world around us, strengthens our perspective in life and helps build opinions and have points of view in everything about life. Education is really important in bringing our dreams to reality. It opens up doors to every opportunity that would give success in ones life (Oak, 2010).

In our countrys case, the Philippine government offers only 10 years in basic education (6 years for elementary and 4 for high school years), which is the lowest as compared to 12 years in many countries in the world (PCER, 1999). The poor mastery of lessons is common due to the congested curriculum and to the great number of population in public schools. High school graduates of 10-year basic education curriculum are also believed to lack basic competencies and maturity. They cannot legally enter into contracts and are not emotionally mature for entrepreneurship / employment (DepEd, 2010).

According to the National Framework Plan for ICTs in Basic Education (2010), the poor performance of students across our country shown in recent national and international achievement tests, and the great number of dropouts both in elementary and secondary levels, pushes the government to add 2 more years in the basic education curriculum or also termed as the K+12 education program. The K+12 program means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary levels. Kindergarten refers to the 5-year old cohort that takes a standardized kinder curriculum.

Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves six or seven years of education. Secondary education refers to high school (DepEd, 2010). According to the official gazette by the Department of Education (DepED, 2010), the model that is currently being proposed by DepEd is the K-6-4-2 Model. This model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12). The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.

By the time that the issue in K+12 program was once again brought up to public, there has been lots of comments and opinions made by those who agree and disagree about it. The pro-K+12 said that the need for enhancement of the quality of education is urgent and critical and that the congested curriculum only burdens the students by the time they pursue their tertiary level. The government also stated that by adding two more years in our curriculum would increase the GDP growth by 2%. While those who disagree said that the families would have to shell more money for transportation, food and education of their children.

Many have also stated that the government does not have the money to spend for another two years in education since it does not have the money to fully support todays ten years (Cruz, 2010). METHODOLOGY The paper presented elucidates what the K-12 policy is all about, the rationale of formulating it, the target stakeholders and beneficiaries. Further, it tackles also the current situation and the adaptation scenario as it was going to be implemented this coming school year. Various facts, criticisms and assumptions from different reliable sources were asserted in order to substantiate details needed for the best understanding.

The presenters wanted to obtain information as to the queries being questioned in the above stated problems in order to have a birds eye view to the content and specifications of the said policy. Since the policy is soon to be implemented, the discussion presented is more on the assessment of the provisions and guidelines stipulated in the educational reform in relation to the affected stakeholders. The come up of the following options were based from the personal assessments from the presenters out from the ideas and thorough discussions gained from the varied reliable sources.

Further, some contents of this part contain documentation of issues and problems base from the current news and information cited from different reliable sources. Moreover, the views and opinions of the presenters do not necessarily reflect the contents or discussion of the neither class nor stand point of the subject instructor, thus all the generated opinions are purely coming from the presenters. 1. Eradicate and impede the implementation of the policy. Constraints and limitations are highly contradicting the concerned K-12 policy, not to mention the unwillingness to embrace the pros and cons brought by this.

2. Suspend the realization of the policy and reschedule for the next succeeding years. Government and direct implementing agency are not well prepared for the changes to be incurred. Further trainings and seminars, strengthening of the workforce are hereby in need as well as deep penetration to the students and parents for the better understanding and acceptance. 3. Put into practice the K-12 policy this coming school year. The country needs to improve the standard of the educational system in order to keep in line with the paces the other country is pacing.

The long term outcome of the said implementation would serve as a positive outcome that will uplift the morale of the society thus bringing noticeable growth to the citizens specifically and to the country as a whole. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 1st Option: Eradicate and impede the implementation of the policy. It is remarkable and inspiring to see that Philippines is now progressing economically and as such, to sustain and possibly prolong this stream, targeting the Education sector of the country is a must.

But, unpreparedness, poor educational participation and development will surely yield to negative outcomes. The biggest issues the K-12 Education System must address are its requirement educational inputs and processes. If these are not given solution, the K-12 Education System policy is already ruined from the very start. In view of Sarah Katrina Maramags idea, the crisis of the Philippine education system, in all levels, is stemmed not on the superficial, in this case the number of schooling years, but rather on the conditions and foundation on which it subsists.

Unless the government addresses in earnest poor public spending, high costs of schooling, the predominance of a colonial curriculum, lack of transparency and accountability amid widespread corruption within the sector and the development of the countrys science and technology for domestic development, all efforts will remain on the surface and neither 10 nor 12 years would make much of difference. To relate with the statement of President PNOY to achieve something out of this move to K-12, we need to have a realistic set of plans and reality check, the plan doesnt coincide as to the current situation.

Though implementing K-12 would be possible, these paradigm changes would be harder for the public system for them to cope up with the rapid changes. Why? Let us settle to the article of Junifen F. Gauuan, firstly, the budget for the education sector of the Philippines is, compared to other Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs), relatively low (for example, difference of almost 5% GDP with Malaysia and Brunei 3. 1% GDP Philippines).

Secondly, the infrastructure of the state schools are not conducive enough to admit more students (picture students taking double-shifted school time i.e. 7am-1pm + 1pm-7pm is that good for students to not meet in a one-off-one-time schedule? OR even cram 50 students in one class? ).

To correlate demand and supply, more demand = more supply. With the current shortage of teachers, as claimed by ACT (Alliance of Concerned Teachers) there is no capacity for the public system to admit more students, even more to prolong the year of study. Finally, financial constraints, millions of people in the Philippines (to be exact 23 million under the Asia-Pacific poverty line) are still living below the poverty line.

Are those parents belonging to that line can really afford another 2 years extra in education? Ideally, the long term goal which can be brought by the policy is good, but reality wise, the road in reaching the target is under construction, not yet completed thus so far behind. 2nd Option: Suspend the realization of the policy and reschedule for the next succeeding years. It is the belief of some educators that the K+10 Education System failed because it lacked 2 more years of study. We can consider that as one reason.

But to the idea of the presenters, the bigger reason why K+10 Education System failed is because of poor educational resources such as classrooms, lack of teachers, facilities and equipment in short budget. Now, though greater budget is allocated to the reform of the educational system in the country but unfortunately what hinders most is the present situation of the affected stakeholders such as parents, students and teachers not to mention the unavailability and lacking of the educational resources.

There is a need of empowerment to the part of the teaching force since it is a great change which requires greater understanding and preparation. It cant be denied the fact that the country has great teachers worth to be proud of, but with the change of educational pattern which they will experience, a further training and seminar is indeed a need for them to be fully equipped. Aside from that, the acceptance of pursuing the reformed educational system must have to start from them since they are considered to be the initial medium that will mediate and enlighten the process of the changes both to the students and the parents.

To the part of the parents, it would be a sudden change that will greatly affect their economic standing in terms of the added financial obligations added also the uncertainties and queries about the changes wherein not all of them are aware. Further enrichment for them to have a better understanding about the policy is a must and it will surely take some time. It is a considerable way to enlighten the parents since they are the first in hand who can motivate and guide their children.

To the implementing agency, the country cannot attempt a trial and error outcome out of this policy. They must have to consider this not an experimental thing to be tested and evaluated. Beforehand, all of the possible consequences and preparations to counter any of those must be well handled and planned already. An evaluation of the educational resources, a budget plan for the teaching force a long term plan of all of these including the construction of some additional facilities and equipment must be comprehended.

To the part of the presenters, they assumed that those implementing agency are not well interacted to the possible instances that may come up and the way to respond in case any unhanding occurrences will arise. As will as the parents and students, together with the current situation of the country connotes unpreparedness for the implementation of the policy. Pursuing the policy without having some intervention with the direct stakeholders and considering the factors affecting the outcome of the policy would obstruct sustainability. 3rd Option: Put into practice the K-12 policy this coming school year.

The government is in to it, the policy was recommended to be implemented, government agencies relating to the educational reform took already an action and somewhat due to the media interaction the society can be said as informed about it. The vision is to uplift the educational standards of the country, the mission is to implement procedures and processes provided in the policy, regardless of all the comments and criticisms since government already spent money for it, then like it or like it very much it should be implemented. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION.

Initially, the DepEd justifies the K-12 model by saying that the present short basic education program affects the human development of Filipino students. Ultimately, regardless of whichever model, what the youth and country direly needs is for the development and establishment of an education system that caters to the needs of the Filipino youth and the society in general. Unfortunately, data shows the current situation that the country is facing in terms of the educational system that might obstruct the implementation of the said policy. But then, the policy is soon to be implemented this coming school year.

To make a recommendation as to the presented options is a mind boggling duty that the presenters could ever come up. But just to satisfy the means of having this paper the end is, the presenters chose the second option, 2nd Option: Suspend the realization of the policy and reschedule for the next succeeding years. The presenters select option two as the best option not due to the fact that the Philippines is the last country in the region to adopt a K-12 basic educations system because it is not all about the trending basis but checking in accordance to the reality.

During the assessment done by the prestigious organization Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), they conclude that the problem about the present curriculum in squeezing 12 years of basic education into just 10 is that students are overloaded with subjects which resulted to poor quality of basic education as reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. International tests results like 2003 TIMSS rank the Philippines 34th out of 38 countries in HS II Math and 43rd out of 46 countries in HS II Science; for grade 4, the Philippines ranked 23rd out of 25 participating countries in both Math and Science.

In 2008, even with only the science high schools participating in the Advanced Mathematics category, the Philippines was ranked lowest. This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education. It is not the question of teaching force because internationally we can say that the country is equipped of well trained educators capable enough for the learning needed by the students in our country. In fact, teachers in our country are highly demanded and most preferred to be hired and work in other country.

But it is the matter of the educational system that we have which is designed to teach a 12-year curriculum, yet it is delivered in just 10 years. Though some criticizing it as a way only to realigned as to what is the trending educational system to must have, then why not follow it if it will sustain the development of the educational system of our country and there is nothing wrong with it. As to the question of the consequences that will be brought by the policy, surely there will be many of those and its a part of the changes.

Better because the government exists to uplift the standard of education in the country and not just sitting down to their respective offices and waiting what will happen to the future of the students experiencing the current system. The policy exist with provisions of program to be administered for the sustainability of it, thus to relate it with economic hindrances it should be another story that is worth to be reflected and should not serve as a hindrance for the development of one system in our country (education).

To reach the development wherein the citizens are wanting, admitting the fact that it couldnt be happening simultaneously is the first step. But, out of the advantages that can be given by the policy, what is now to be considered as constraint is the time. There is a need to develop to the part of the teaching force, the facilities and the equipments the country presently have, further evaluation and thorough analysis as to the whatever outcome that can be brought by it.

Implementing programs that will lead to the positive realization of the policy and usage of media is a help to penetrate the minds of the parents and making them realized the long term output that the policy can give by. In short, a more prepared country is in need for the advancement to incur in the educational system. REFERENCES PDF files: Batomalaque, Antonio. Basic Science Development Program of the Philippines for International Cooperation. University of San Carlos. ; Marinas, Bella and Ditapat, Maria. Philippines: Curriculum and Development.

UNESCO International Bureau of Education International Engineering Alliance. The Washington Accord. http://www. washingtonaccord. org/Washington- Accord/FAQ. cfm (Accessed 11 September 2010) Mullis, I. V. S. , Martin, M. O. , Robitaille, D. F. , & Foy, P. (2009). Chestnut Hill, MA. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Advanced 2008. National Center for Education Statistics. Highlights from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003. December 2004 Seamo-Innotech. Additional Years in Philippine Basic Education: Rationale and Legal Bases.

Presentation to the Department of Education on 25 August 2010. Presentation notes of Dr. Isagani Cruz, 28 September 2010. Articles/ Journals: Jane Uymatiao. Why we need DepEds K-12 Program, Sunday, 22 January 2012. Retrived from http://www. thepoc. net/commentaries/14612-why-we-need-depeds-k-12-program. html (Accessed 15 March 2012) Joe Padre. Pros & Cons in the K+12 Basic Education Debate, October 14, 2010. Retrived from http://mlephil. wordpress. com/2010/10/14/pros-cons-of-the-k12-debate/ (Accesed 14 March 2012) Jonathan Plucker.

Problems as Possibilities: Problem based learningforK-12education. Retrievedfrom http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb6470/is_1_22/ai_n28742235/ (Accessed 11 March 2012) Junifen F. Gauuan. K+12 Policy Framework: Pessimistic, Optimistic or Realistic? , March 26, 2011.

Retrieved from http://www. aldersgate-college. com/news/high-school/k12-policy-framework-pessimistic-optimistic-or-realistic/ (Accessed 6 March 2012) K-12 Challenge to Philippine Tertiary Education. Retrieved from http://rodrigo75. wordpress. com/2011/04/19/k-12-challenge-to-philippine-tertiary-education/ (Accessed 29 March 2012).

Sarah Katrina Maramag. Proposed K12 Basic Education System in the Philippines, Is the K-12 model good for the Philippine Education System? , via Philippine Online Chronicles. Retrived from http://blogwatch. tv/2011/05/proposed-k-12-basic-education-system-in-the-philippines/ (Accessed 10 March 2012) Virnads. K12 in the Philippines: A Reform or Deform. Manila Philippines, June 13, 2011. Retrieved from http://www. allvoices. com/contributed-news/9379822-k12-in-the-philippines-a-reform-or-deform (Accessed 12 March 2012).

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