THE K+12 Basic Education Program seeks to enhance the quality of education.
K+12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education. Kindergarten refers to the five-year-old child who undergoes a standardized Kindergarten curriculum. Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves six years of education (Grades 1 to 6) while secondary education refers to four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10 or High School Years First to Fourth) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12 or High School Years Fifth and Sixth).
Quality basic education is a right of every Filipino, therefore this is provided by government for free in public schools. Those who go through the 12 year program will get an elementary diploma (six years), a junior high-school diploma (four years) and a senior high-school diploma (two years). A full 12 years of basic education will eventually be required for entry into tertiary level education by School Year 2018-19.
Implementation of the K+12 Program will be phased. Universal Kindergarten was offered in School Year 2011-12. By School Year 2012-13, the new curriculum will be offered to incoming Grade 1 as well as to incoming junior high-school students. The target of the Department of Education is to put in place the necessary infrastructure and other arrangements needed to provide Senior High School education by School Year 2016-17.
Benefits of the K+12 Program
A. To individuals and families: An enhanced curriculum will decongest academic workload, giving students more time to master competencies and for co-curricular activities and community involvement, thus allowing for a more holistic development.
Graduates will possess competencies and skills relevant to the job market. They will attain Certificate of Proficiency, Certificate of Competency or National Certification in their areas of specialization.
Graduates will be better prepared for higher education.
The K+12 education is affordable. The cost of the additional two years in high school will be lower compared to a two-year college education.
The potential annual earnings of a K+12 graduate will be higher compared to the earnings of a 10-year high-school graduate. Graduates of the program will be recognized abroad.
B. For the society and the economy: K+12 will contribute to economic growth. Several studies have shown that improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by as much as 2 percent.
K+12 will facilitate mutual recognition of Filipino graduates and professionals in other countries. A better educated society provides a sound foundation for long-term socioeconomic development.
Articles reprinted from Philippines Graphic, June 25, 2012