Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (2023)

  • Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (1)

  • Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (2)

  • Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (3)

By Cyril John Barlongo

QUALITY education is viewed as any country’s pillar of success.

Restructuring the Philippines’s basic educational system through the K to 12 Program is a tough but strategic move by the government to ensure that it produces competent graduates who can serve as the backbone for a highly skilled and employable work force.

Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (4)

Introduced in 2011 by the Department of Education (DepEd), headed by Secretary Armin Luistro, FSJ, the K to 12 Program made kindergarten a prerequisite to basic education. It lengthened basic schooling to include a two-year senior high school and offered technical and vocational courses to students not planning to go to college, thus giving them more chances of getting employed in blue-collar work.

The program replaced the 10-year basic education curriculum, which consisted of six years in grade school and four years in high school that concentrated on the English language and Filipino, the sciences, arithmetic and mathematics, and the social sciences.

It also incorporated these basic lessons to include basic science and technology, engineering, mathematics, accountancy, business and management, humanities and social sciences, and general academic courses such as technical-vocational-livelihood, arts and design, and sports.

The implementation of the program has aroused fear among 13,600 teachers and 11,400 nonteaching staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) that they would end up losing their jobs due to the lack of college enrollees.

Petitions have been submitted to the Supreme Court to suspend the program because politicians and groups find the new system as insufficient preparation for life after school.

Lack of infrastructure is also one of the issues confronting the DepEd prior to and during the initial implementation of the program. Needed for the new curriculum are 30,000 new classrooms; 30,000 new teachers; and 6,000 nonteaching staff.

Like most government endeavors, public education cannot succeed without the support of the private sector. With the help of companies and business groups, programs by the government are important in building a strong future for the country that would enhance our competitiveness in the global community and would advance the competencies of Filipino graduates to stand at par with global practices and be equipped with relevant skills and knowledge in their chosen professions. Different programs will give the youth a steady and confident footing in pursuing a career that will empower them to become able and productive participants in the shared task of nation-building.

Toward this end, business organizations have been supporting the K to 12 Program on its continued and proper reform implementation. Consistent support has been provided by the Makati Business Club, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

Studies have repeatedly shown that “more schooling leads to a higher income, averaging a 10-percent increase for every additional year in school.”

The League of Cities of the Philippines has also expressed its full and unwavering support for the flagship education reform of the Aquino administration, led by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.

Quality education is the best that the country can offer, a call that leads to quality employment for a better quality of life. Hence, lawmakers should still be in the lookout for potential advancements in the current status of our education system.

As of January 2015, the Philippine Statistics Authority Labor Force Survey showed a 6.6-percent unemployment rate from 7.5 percent the previous year. Meanwhile, the survey also showed employment grew to 93.4 percent, up from 92.5 percent the preceding year.

If industries, members of academe and society as a whole can work concertedly toward empowering the students with global-standard competencies, the country’s employment rate will improve further.

Despite the massive number of graduates the country’s institutions of higher learning produce annually, not all possess the life skills needed to enter and become productive members of the work force.

Workers in the services sector dominated the largest proportion by 54.6 percent, comprised of those engaged in wholesale and retail trade, or in the repair of motor vehicles as the largest percentage. Meanwhile, workers in the agriculture and industry sector comprised the second and the smallest group with 29.5 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively. Laborers and unskilled workers have remained in the largest group, accounting for 31 percent.

Due to financial reasons, many high-school graduates today cannot proceed to college, which contributes to the aggregate of about 15 million out-of-school youth, according to PBEd.

The nonprofit organization proposes a voucher system to the DepEd and Commission for Higher Education (CHED) to give out-of-school youth a chance to pursue tertiary education.

According to PBEd, the Unified Financial Assistance System for Higher and Technical Education (UniFAST) and the Tertiary Education Transition Fund (TETF) will facilitate the funding for the program if Congress will pass the two bills into law.

The UniFAST bill will harmonize government scholarships, grants-in-aid and loan programs, while the TETF bill, in turn, will establish a development and welfare fund, PBEd says.

The UniFAST bill has been approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives and on second reading at the Senate.

The community where the students live is a key factor in collective assistance and encouragement. With the help of volunteers through the DepEd’s Brigada Eskuwela program, the public and private sectors unite to provide services and resources through the repair and ensuring the safety and cleanliness of classrooms and schools for the opening of public schools this June.

The program brings together teachers, parents, community members and stakeholders every third week of May in an effort to maximize civil participation and utilize local resources to prepare public schools for the opening of classes.

During the long week event, volunteers take time doing minor repairs, painting and cleaning of school campuses.

The program has become the DepEd’s model of genuine public and private partnership to curb challenges that Philippine education is facing and serves as one of its front-line initiatives.

The Gulayan sa Paaralan Program of the DepEd, which began in 2007, also helps to address child malnutrition among elementary students. The crops harvested from school gardens, which were also planted by the students, are used to sustain the school’s feeding programs. Children lacking proper nutrients have lesser energy, physically and mentally, hence are unable to fully participate in class.

Because of significant inflation in the country and improvement of facilities, private institutions have raised their tuition in 313 private colleges and universities for the coming school year, slightly higher than the 287 HEIs allowed by the CHED last year, for an increase in tuition and other fees.

The CHED said that of the 313 schools, only 283 HEIs were allowed to increase tuition, 212 would increase other fees, and 182 out of 313 schools were allowed to increase both tuition and other school fees.

Despite the higher number compared to that of last year, the increases were lower from an average of P35.66 per unit to P29.86. Other school fees were also lowered to P135.60 from P141.55 last year.

Due to Supertyphoon Yolanda that devastated a wide swath of land in Eastern Visayas in 2013, the CHED did not approve any application from the schools affected to increase tuition and other school fees.

As no applications were submitted to CHED, no increases were imposed in the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in Region 2; Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon in Region 5; Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor in Region 7; Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental in Region 10.

For a program to go through, right appropriation is essential to deliver a smooth program implementation. Mandated by the Philippine Constitution, the government must allocate the highest proportion of its budgetary needs to education. As part of the Aquino administration vow, of the P2.606-trilliion national budget, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated P367.1 billion for the DepEd, the highest among the government agencies. The 2015 budget increased by 18.6 percent from last year.

Among the DepEd’s programs are Abot-Alam Program, Alternative Delivery Mode Projector e-IMPACT, Basic Education Madrasah Program, Computerization Program, Redesigned Technical-Vocational High School Program and Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education.

Modernizing the higher public education system is an integral part of making school facilities a conducive environment for students to learn. Hence, to improve the country’s state universities and colleges (SUCs), a total of P44.4 billion was allocated to the SUCs, 16.8 percent higher from last year.

The P2.5-billion allocation is designed to aid 40,453 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries.

To aid students who want to earn a college degree, the DBM allotted P7.9 billion for scholarship grants and financial assistance. Under this allocation, the CHED’s Students Financial Assistance Program was appropriated a total of P763 million that will help 54,208 students nationwide.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes, Roy Domingo

  • Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (5)

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  • Reforms in the Philippine education system: The K to 12 Program | Cyril John Barlongo (9)


What is the K to 12 program and reform of Philippine basic education? ›

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, ...

Who was implement the K-12 program in the Philippines? ›

KEYSTONE REFORM: The most significant educational reform since the last century, on May 15 2013 President Aquino signed into law the Enhanced Basic Education Act in order to take the Philippines into the 21st century.

Which is considered as the most important reform in the Philippine educational system? ›

The Republic Act of 10,533 or Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (K–12) is one of the biggest reforms the Philippines has experienced after more than 50 years of having a 10-years educational system.

Whose intention to reform the education system in the Philippines by shifting to K-12 education? ›

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was remembered by his education secretary for major reforms in schools, including his push for the K-12 curriculum that a teachers' group says is a burden for stakeholders.

Why did the Philippines reformed its basic education program? ›

The key points of the new policy are “preparation” for higher education, “eligibility” for entering domestic and overseas higher educational institutions, and immediate “employability” on graduating, all leading toward a “holistically developed Filipino”.

What are the four current reforms in education today? ›

The four key areas of reform include:
  • Development of rigorous standards and better assessments.
  • Adoption of better data systems to provide schools, teachers, and parents with information about student progress.
  • Support for teachers and school leaders to become more effective.

What are the educational reforms in the Philippines? ›

K-12 Implementation

K-12 extends compulsory schooling to grades 11 and 12, adding two years to secondary school, and makes secondary education compulsory. Prior to its implementation, the Philippines was the only country in Asia, and one of only a few in the world, to have a basic education system of just 10 years.

Why was K-12 curriculum implemented in the Philippines? ›

Abstract – The government implemented the K to 12 programs to enhance the educational system of the country in order to accelerate the mutual recognition of Filipino graduates and professionals across the world.

What is the goal of the K-12 program in the Philippines? ›

K-12 system aims to improve Filipino students' mathematical, scientific, and linguistic competence. With the new curriculum, DepEd promised to offer higher quality education through tracks. Each track will give students enough time to master a field and enhance their skills.

Will K-12 reforms in the Philippines transform higher education system? ›

While aimed at the K-12 sector, the reforms are expected to dramatically affect the nation's higher education system – and potentially Filipino students' international mobility – as well.

What has been done by the Philippines to improve the standard of education? ›

The Kindergarten Act of 2012 introduced free pre-school and also added a mandatory year to the elementary curriculum, while the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (EBEA), also known as the K-12 law, made attending secondary school mandatory and extended the curriculum by two years.

Is K to 12 effective in the Philippines? ›

Citing a 2020 discussion paper by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Gatchalian said that while the K-12 program promised to boost employability among senior high school graduates, only a little over 20 percent of SHS graduates enter the labor force while 70 percent continue with their education.

When did educational reform started in the Philippines? ›

ABSTRACT. In 2012 the Philippines launched its "K to 12" Program, a comprehensive reform of its basic education. Through this reform, the Philippines is catching up with global standards in secondary education and is attaching a high value to kindergarten.

Who is the father of education reform? ›

Known as the “father of American education,” Horace Mann (1796–1859), a major force behind establishing unified school systems, worked to establish a varied curriculum that excluded sectarian instruction.

Who was the president during the education reform? ›

President Clinton and Vice President Gore launched an era of education reform based on setting high standards for all schools and students and providing the support to meet them. Higher standards have begun to pay off for America's students.

Does K-12 program improved the educational system in the Philippines why or why not? ›

K to 12 Led to Higher Quality Education in the Philippines

The rigorous K to 12 Program uses high-standard instructional programs to build student's knowledge and skills in different subject areas, including courses that make them employable as they finish high school.

What is now the biggest problem faced by Philippine education? ›

“The lack of school infrastructure and resources to support the ideal teaching process is the most pressing issue pounding the Philippine basic education,” she said. She presented the latest government inventory which shows that out of 327,851 school buildings in the country, only 104,536 are in good condition.

What was the Philippines curriculum before K to 12? ›

What was Philippine basic education like before K to 12? Before World War II, the Philippines had an 11-year basic education cycle: grades 1 to 7 for elementary, and 4 years of high school.

What are some examples of education reforms? ›

These include high aca- demic standards for all students; extra support to help students and schools meet those standards; increased flexibility for local schools in order for them to do so; and greater accountability for the results, partic- ularly as measured by student performance on standardized tests.

What are some examples of reforms? ›

Reforms on many issues — temperance, abolition, prison reform, women's rights, missionary work in the West — fomented groups dedicated to social improvements. Often these efforts had their roots in Protestant churches.

What are the basic education reforms? ›

Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA)
  • Preparation of BESRA Policy Proposals.
  • Key Reform Thrust 1: School-level stakeholders improve their own schools continuously.
  • Key Reform Thrust 2: Teachers raise the prevailing standards of their profession to meet demands for better learning outcomes.

What is the Enhanced basic education Act of 2013 in the Philippines? ›

Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 [R.A No. 10533]. Abstract/Citation: The State shall establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people, the country and society-at-large.

What is reform movement in the Philippines? ›

The Reform the Armed Forces Movement, also referred to by the acronym RAM, was a cabal of officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) known for several attempts to seize power in the Philippines during the 1980s and 1990s.

Which reform in the Philippine education system advocates the use of English and Filipino? ›

The Policy on Bilingual Education aims at the achievement of competence in both Filipino and English at the national level, through the teaching of both languages and their use as media of instruction at all levels.

What are the issues and concerns on the implementation of K to 12 in the Philippines? ›

Insufficient learning materials such as books and readers guides, more than one preparation for DLL's, and lack of laboratories and other teaching and learning facilities, difficulties in assessing Student-Transferee from other educational institution offering different subjects, more than one preparation for DLL's, ...

Which of the following is the main objective of the K-12 program? ›

K-12 education is the foundation of a student's academic career. It provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and the workplace. K-12 education also plays an important role in developing responsible citizens and preparing young people for the challenges of adulthood.

What are the K-12 education goals? ›

K-12 Education
  • Higher standards and better assessments that will prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace.
  • Ambitious efforts to recruit, prepare, develop, and advance effective teachers and principals, especially in the classrooms where they are most needed.

How effective is the education system in the Philippines? ›

The Education System in the Philippines

A beautiful nation, the Philippines has a top-quality higher education system. The country attracts over 5,000 international students every year and has more than 2,000 universities and colleges.

What are the government's goals for education in the Philippines? ›

The DepEd Mission

To protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality, equitable, culture-based, and complete basic education where: Students learn in a child-friendly, gender-sensitive, safe, and motivating environment. Teachers facilitate learning and constantly nurture every learner.

Which is the most important contribution of the American to the Philippines educational system? ›

In response to the teacher shortage resulting from the creation of a centralized public education system volunteer American soldiers became the first teachers of the Filipinos. Part of their mission was to build classrooms in every place where they were assigned.

What country has the best K-12 education? ›

Download Table Data
CountryRank (2021)Rank (2020)
United States11
United Kingdom22
73 more rows

What is the K to 12 basic education program which is under? ›

The current K-12 program in the Philippines, which was implemented in 2012, covers kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school to prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.

What are the benefits of K-12 in the Philippines? ›

K-12 fosters gainful employment and entrepreneurship.

Graduates of the new system can instantly get a job after getting certificates and passing TESDA's competency-based assessment. They may likewise choose to set up their own business or continue further education in college.

What is the basic education curriculum in the Philippines? ›

Compulsory core subjects in both Elementary and Secondary schools include languages, Mathematics, Sciences, ICT, Physical Education and the Arts. However, in Grades 7 and 8, Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) subjects are also introduced.

What is the goal of the enhanced K to 12 basic education program? ›

Goals • The goal of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program is to create a functional basic education system that will produce productive and responsible citizens equipped with the essential competencies and skills for both life- long learning and employment.

What is the background of K-12 program in the Philippines? ›

The K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education. The program aims to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.

What is the new education system in the Philippines? ›

This new system will now consist of one year of kindergarten, six years of primary school (Grades 1 – 6), four years of junior high school (Grades 7 – 10), and an additional two years for senior high school (Grades 11 – 12).

What are the disadvantages of K to 12 in the Philippines? ›

8 Disadvantages of K12 Education
  • A prolonged beyond the usual tedious or longer years in school (plus 2 years). ...
  • Graduates take time to produce and are two years older (23 years old instead of 21 before).
  • Parents have struggled financially or have been heavily laden already.
Jun 29, 2022

What is K-12 curriculum in the Philippines facts? ›

The current K-12 program in the Philippines, which was implemented in 2012, covers kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school to prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.

What are the 4 pillars of basic education in the Philippines? ›

What do the Four Pillars mean to you? The framework organized lifelong learning into four pillars: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, and learning to be which are fundamental in reshaping 21st century education.

What factors make the K to 12 succeed? ›

GoGuardian Finds Three Factors That influence K-12 Student Engagement Online and In-Person
  • Performing regular checks for student understanding.
  • Articulating clear objectives and directions for the lesson.
  • Developing students' metacognitive skills required for learning.
Sep 16, 2020

What are the challenges in the implementation of K to 12 curriculum? ›

Insufficient learning materials such as books and readers guides, more than one preparation for DLL's, and lack of laboratories and other teaching and learning facilities, difficulties in assessing Student-Transferee from other educational institution offering different subjects, more than one preparation for DLL's, ...

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