After 10 years of implementation of the K-12 basic education program, the Department of Education has conceded its curriculum is “congested.”
As in, for instance, EDSA traffic tied up in Gordian knots and unmoving for hours on end?
Or maybe learnings are piled up on top of one another, leaving poor students unable to decipher what is going on or overloaded with too much information that they have little time to digest.
Whatever it is, it’s a problem that deserves urgent solutions.
In her presentation of the Basic Education Report 2023, Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte said DepEd’s ongoing review of the K-12 program revealed that some prerequisites of “identified learning competencies are missing or misplaced.”
Then there’s the problem that a “significant number of learning competencies catered to high cognitive demands.”
What all that technocratese seems to be saying is that, on one hand, students are not getting the skills and knowledge they need, and that, on the other, their teachers expected too much from them.
To deal with this, the revision of the curriculum aims to produce more job-ready and responsible graduates, DepEd says, and make the curriculum relevant to produce competent, job-ready, active, and responsible citizens.
And more: “We will revise the K to 12 curriculum to make them more responsive to our aspirations as a nation, to develop lifelong learners who are imbued with 21st-century skills, discipline, and patriotism.”
Among the revisions DepEd will undertake is to reduce the number of learning areas in kindergarten to third grade from seven areas to five.
These learning areas will focus on foundational skills in literacy and numeracy in the early grades, particularly among disadvantaged students.
DepEd will also strengthen its literacy and numeracy program and revitalize reading, science and technology, and math programs.
The re-engineered K-12 curriculum also aims to improve English language proficiency “within the context of a multilingual nation.”
“We will review the implementation of the mother tongue-based multilingual education policy, guided by the basic principle that, among others, learners learn when taught in a language that they understand,” according to the agency.
DepEd’s main agenda in the years to come will focus on:
taking steps to accelerate the delivery of basic education facilities and services;
taking good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education, and a positive learning environment; and
(3) giving support to teachers to teach better.
All in all, a multi-pronged approach to better basic education for the Filipino youth that we think should be pursued with vigor and dedication by the DepEd in the years ahead.