K-12:an Asset or a Drawback in Promoting Quality Education?

K-12: AN ASSET OR A DRAWBACK IN PROMOTING QUALITY EDUCATION? Sol F. Constantino (ED 213)Graduate School, Ateneo de Naga University There are ample reasons behind the emergence of K+12 Basic Education Program. With our country’s current situation, consequently it became an issue. Similar to coin tossing, this argument has its heads and tails thus it earned different public reactions; an approval from those who viewed K+12 as the answer to the poor quality of basic education and stern rebukes from “folks whose pocketbooks would be adversely impacted by the proposed additional 2 years of basic education” (Cruz, 2010).
Hence, If equated to analogy, the product of the old curriculum with a K-6-4 structure and the new curriculum having K-6-4-2 model can be compared to two newborn babies, a premature baby (half-baked graduates) whose needs must be addressed in order to survive and a normal one (the ideal graduate) . Futhermore, I consider the features of K+12 to be more an advantage in enhancing our quality of education but the conflict here is the preparedness of the crucial elements needed to be procured by DepEd as it turned out to be an untimely implementation.
The cons reckoned many drawbacks of K+12 as they consider it an impediment and an additional burden especially to parents. The Philippine Star writer Isagani Cruz enumerated the downsides of K+12 in his column. He asserted that parents have to shell out more money (for transportation and food) for the education of their children as they find the additional two years heavy for their expense which will lead to a high dropout rate of the students if not addressed . I personally don’t concur to this point.
Providing our children quality education is like farming, where one needs to perspire and endure working under the sun, plow the fields and take good care of everything in order to have a good harvest. Absolutely it is hard, but not impossible. Another reason cited is that the government does not have the money to pay for two more years of free education, since it does not even have the money to fully support the ten years of basic education. The cons believed that the problem of BEC is the content and not the length, thus the emphasis must be on “better” rather than on “more” education.
For them, ten years is enough to equip students with necessary skills to become productive and successful members of our nation so there’s no need for the additional two years. Another problem that goes with the curriculum implementation are the skills and competency of teachers. Changes in the curriculum implies that teachers must be resilient and flexible enough to adopt the new trends. As I have mentioned earlier, the main concern that I think must be addressed first is the readiness of every component of education, including sufficient classrooms, chairs, teachers and equipment.
Citing the present status of my own school as an example, classroom and teacher shortage is the main problem because we have a high rate of enrolment but the teachers are compelled to hold big classes (sometimes seventy or more pupils in one section) in dilapidated and improvised classrooms, even in shade houses within the school premises. In addition, sufficient educational supplies such as error-free workbooks and other teaching materials are still of great demand.
Answering these needs will not be done with just a blink of an eye. Thus, implementing the new curriculum this early is a premature step because majority of its vital parts is not yet developed and realized. However, we are hoping that these issues will be immediately settled upon knowing that DepEd is one of the priorities of the present administration having a hefty P1,645 trillion budget. The positive features of K-12 stand out as it provide more benefits over the previous system in terms of quality education.
The proponents believed it is the answer to our country’s ailing need as they figured out the following reasons: K+12 will produce graduates who are competent, physically, mentally and emotionally ready in their field of endeavor because the additional two years in the Senior High School curriculum will serve as the student’s career assessment as it offers areas of specialization or electives such as science and technology, music and arts, agriculture and fisheries, sports, business and entrepreneurship.
It will help the students define what college course is suitable to his skills and interests which will make them excel in their chosen field. Filipino graduates will benefit from their degree earned when they work abroad because they will be recognized as professionals having graduated in a twelve-year basic educational cycle prescribed in international standard. So, Filipino professionals no longer need to serve s domestic helpers in other countries because they are entitled to practice their profession. Based from contradicting points enumerated and weighing the outcomes given, I resolved this issue by finally stating that K+12 is more of an asset than a drawback in promoting quality education. Let us embrace the fact that our country under the new leadership of President Ninoy Aquino III is undergoing Reconstructionism, that is, creating social change in building the nation through basic quality education.
The reason for this change doesn’t stop from raising the students’ achievement scores alone. It aims to show the world that Filipino students are brilliant, and that Philippines wants to be at par with progressive countries because we don’t want to be left behind. In order to achieve this, our country really need brilliant students who will turn to be our country’s young entrepreneurs, as well as smart and competent teachers.
Functional and productive Filipino citizens will make Philippines a progressive nation. All these will start from the fundamentals, the basic education. So, as a Grade One teacher, as early as June, I strive hard to let my pupils learn the essential skills expected to be mastered by first graders; reading, speaking, writing and counting. I will make sure that the incoming second graders next year are all good readers as I strictly implement the “No Read No Pass” policy.
As for my professional development, I continue to augment my teaching skills through wide reading, online research on best teaching practices and continuous studies. Through my own simple ways, I aspire to contribute to our goal of nation building by providing basic quality education even if it means walking an extra mile and spending at my own expense. References: Balangue, D. (2010, November). Is K+12 the answer? Inquirer Opinion/ Column.
Retrieved from http://opinion. inquirer. net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20101126-305539/Is-K12-the-answer Cruz, I. (2010, October). Pros & Cons in the K+12 Basic Education Debate. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://mlephil. wordpress. com/2010/10/14/pros-cons-of-the-k12-debate/ Discussion paper on the enhanced K+12 basic education program. (2010, October 5). Retrieved from www. deped. gov. ph/cpanel/uploads/issuanceImg/K12new. pdf

Prof. Angela


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