Have you watched comedian Vice Ganda’s concert I-Vice Ganda mo ‘Ko at the Smart Araneta last May? I did (for curiosity). During one of his first scenes, he asked several guests what they know about the K-12 educational reform which was a buzz topic during that time. He moved around and many of the guests he approached didn’t have a notion about what K-12 was. What a pity that many Filipinos know what’s up with showbiz, tech gadgets, and popular politics but know nothing or very little about the K-12 which, IF properly implemented, may bring back the Philippines’ image as a beaming star among ASEAN emerging economies. If Vice Ganda approached me at the dome, I would have been able to explain a bit about K-12, thanks to MindGym’s coach Albert, who shared with me updates on the K-12 even before it has been launched.
Fans of Vice Ganda may be excused for lack of awareness on the K-12 but for teachers and students like you and us, a working knowledge of the K-12 is a must; more so if you are taking the LET soon.
Good news! Coach Albert wrote this 10-part series about the basics of the K-12 and his insights on this major educational change, broken down into the following parts:
1. Looking back
2. Looking deeper
3. Facts and Figures
4. Implications to tech-voc
5. Attention: TLE Teachers
6. Why TLE Teachers should go to TESDA?
7. Training, Assessment, and Certification of TLE Teachers
8. Professionalization of Teachers in the Basic Education
9. On the assessment and certification of grades 7-12
10. My (Coach Albert) recommendations
Here’s Part 1 of 10.
May “K” ka ba sa K-12?: Looking back (part 1 of 10)
Are you “K”nowledgeable about the K-12? If you answered “yes”, good but I assure you that you’ll have a clearer view of the K-12 after reading my insights. If you answered “no”, that’s OK; expect to learn from as I share with you my insights (and policy analysis) about the K-12 program especially the embedment of tech-voc in the K-12 cycle (a topic rarely discussed in K-12 materials).
MindGym LETers may recall my advice: to pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), be familiar with the salient features of the 1987 Constitution and some important education laws. Take note aspiring LET passer/topnotcher, this Constitutional provision is the backbone of the K-12 law: “the state shall establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society” (Art. XIV, Sec. 2 (1))
Let me backtrack to the Philippine educational system in 1991 when Congress convened the Congressional Commission to Review and Assess Philippine Education (EDCOM) which led to the trifocalization of the Philippine educational system (take note of the word “trifocalization”). The trifocalized set-up will ensure that program focus is clear and resources are allocated rationally and plans are realistic and attainable (Espiritu, 2000).
What is trifocalization? Three government agencies are responsible for the education sector. DepED is in-charge of improving the literacy of the population and providing that basic learning requirements that will prepare the students to the next education ladder, post-secondary or higher education. TESDA, as the authority and lead agency for technical-vocational education, ensures that the skills and technical qualifications needed for jobs are provided to the students and workers. CHED, on the other hand, provides the knowledge-based and professional qualification requirements of the job market (Dawa-Hernandez, 2008).
Trifocalization sounds good. It has allowed the education agencies concerned to focus on their respective mandates. What went wrong through the years?
The Biennial Conference on Education in 2008 notedthat: “Over time, however, there has been felt a growing need for greater coordination among these agencies, a common approach to trans-subsectoral issues such as assessment mechanism and articulation between levels, and a more harmonized approach to total education planning and resource allocation” (Philippine Main Education Highway: Towards a Knowledge-Based Economy, 2008).
Hence, the Conference resolved to harmonize all educational efforts at the various levels and to ensure the continuum and knowledge integration among the three education agencies — to make education in the country “seamless”.
One of the first solutions was to put the three education agencies under one roof (just like pre-1991) or establish a “task force” or a “technical working group” to “harmonize” these three agencies.
Nowadays, DepEd, TESDA, and CHED work effectively as a team; thus resulting in many educational reform initiatives. On May 15 of this year, President Aquino signed RA 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Law of 2013 launching the implementation of K-12 provisions.
“Harmonization” which led to the signing of the K-12 law was the easiest part of the current educational reform according to Sec. Armin Luistro in a recent forum at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
We know that the “devil is in the details”. As professional teachers (or K-12 teachers-in-progress), let’s have a closer look into some of the details of the K-12 program and find out how we can help the government in the implementation of this reform initiative.
(To be continued)