DepED Tacurong

K+12 Education Program of DepED


On the education front, the Aquino administration has put its stake on a bold and major policy initiative that will have, arguably, long-lasting and far-reaching impacts for the millions of Filipino youth finding their place in the world. The Kindergarten plus 12 initiative or K+12 seeks to add two more years to the basic education curriculum. The central rationale to this thrust is to ensure that Filipino graduates become “globally-competitive and acceptable,” considering the fact that the Philippines remains one of the last two countries in the world that have a ten-year education cycle. The present system is said to have resulted in poor performance by the students, compounded by the poor quality and lack of teachers, classrooms, textbooks, and other facilities. International scores in science and mathematics put the Philippines at the bottom of the heap, exposing the sad state of basic comprehension and analytical skills amongst the great majority of our students in the public school system.

The rationale for this centerpiece program of the Department of Education seems therefore earnest and straightforward. Who could be possibly against setting higher standards for basic education, and for our graduates to stand a better chance at having gainful employment and greater opportunities for professional advancement by being better-equipped with more learning and life-skills after 12 years of study?

The problem, however, is that the K+12 initiative has become a source of acrimonious debate, eliciting some downright accusations of this being patently elitist and biased for big-business requirements for a more qualified and skilled labor force. Many teachers groups, parents and various education advocacy organizations claim that K+12 is “anti-poor” because it supposedly forces upon the poor the additional burdens of spending for two more years of schooling. And the largely impoverished state of public education—with the perennial problem of inadequate or ever-constricting annual budgets in real terms—makes the additional two years seem like too ambitious a pipedream.

“Where will government get the money for two more years of educating at least 20 million students at the basic education level, when it can hardly meet the most basic needs and minimum conditions for quality education in a 10-year period?” some organizations like the Alliance of Concerned Teachers ask. The estimated cost of a five-year period to transition to a 12-year system is around P150 billion, or P30 billion a year. The question nags: If there is already great difficulty in hiring 10,000 new teachers a year, how could we possibly hire the required 100,000 new teachers for better student-teacher ratios in a 12-year cycle? Or—if we cannot even bridge the 40,000 classrooms-a-year shortage, how can we accommodate the burgeoning population of pre and post-high school students in a 12-year system in the medium term?

The reality of a high drop-out rate also exacerbates the very issue of K+12. If out of every 100 students who enter first grade, only 43 complete high school, the pressing challenge then, many will say, relates to how we can first keep students learning in school in 10 years—rather than making it even more difficult for them to finish a longer basic education cycle. The drop-out rate will arguably, as a matter of concern by such groups, increase because of the extra two years.

Both sides of the debate have sound and fairly reasoned arguments, but the contention boils down to the tension between short-term needs of affordability and employment, and the longer-term imperative for quality education and global competitiveness with better skills and enhanced training and productivity. All told, the debate should rage; we must refer to or increase the number of research and pedagogical studies on the issue, the better to make us understand what the best policy paths to education reform are.

The strength of a country, after all, lies in the capacity of a vast majority of its people to think critically and creatively—and contribute significantly to its commerce and wealth-creating possibilities. A society is only as strong as its citizens who are able to innovatively tap into their potentials because of a liberating, equitable, forward-looking, rigor-driven and technology-anchored education system.

In a world of dizzying change and breakneck technological advancements, it is not enough that future generations of Filipinos have the requisite skills for functional literacy. They need the more critical faculties of comprehension, analysis and conceptual thinking—not simply to be part of a pool of competitive job-seekers in the domestic or global labor market, but to be a part of a much-needed and much-wider field of talent, knowledge and skill from whence our own scientists, engineers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, technicians and artists, will arise to rebuild and redefine larger national aspirations for greatness.

It is the state’s mandate to provide basic education and ensure that parents are enabled to help all children finish school. As it is the duty of the state—and every Filipino parent—to be unflinching in the pursuit not just of “employable, competitive skills” but of the inherent value of human excellence, ingenuity and merit. That, in the end, should be the ultimate measure of country’s educational system. A real, lifelong learning process—far more than an arbitrary period of 10 or 12 years.


6 thoughts on “K+12 Education Program of DepED

  1. We, students are having a research about this issue and i want to know some information about this K+12 program of DepEd.. I am an Education Student…

  2. How are we planning to implement the K+12 program?
    After considering various proposals and studies, the model that is currently being proposed by DepEd is the K-6-4-2 Model. This model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12). The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.

    Features of K 6-4-2
    (1) Kindergarten and 12 years of quality basic education is a right of every Filipino, therefore they must be and will be provided by government and will be free.
    (2) Those who go through the 12 years cycle will get an elementary diploma (6 years), a junior high school diploma (4 years), and a senior high school diploma (2 years).
    (3) A full 12 years of basic education will eventually be required for entry into tertiary level education (entering freshmen by SY 2018-2019 or seven years from now).

    • An open and consultative process will be adopted in the development and implementation of K+12.
    • Change is two-fold: (a) curriculum enhancement and (b) transition management.

    What is the proposed implementation plan of DepEd?

    Phases of Implementation
    (1) Universal kindergarten will be offered starting SY 2011-2012.
    (2) DepEd will begin unclogging the basic education curriculum in SY 2012-2013.
    (3) The enhanced 12-year curriculum will be implemented starting with incoming Grade I students of SY 2012-2013.
    (4) Incoming freshmen of SY 2012-2013 will be the first beneficiary of a free Senior High School education that will be made available by DepEd in public schools beginning SY 2016-2017. Electives to be offered in Senior HS (arts, music, tech-voch..etc)

    In implementing the K-6-4-2 proposal, DepEd will take into account the issues and concerns of all stakeholders, including the high school graduates before 2016. The mechanics and other details of the transition plan will be threshed out with HEIs in coordination with CHED, TESDA and other critical stakeholders

    What is Senior High School?
    • 2 years of in-depth specialization for students depending on the occupation/career track they wish to pursue
    • Skills and competencies relevant to the job market
    • The 2 years of senior HS intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.
    • The curriculum will allow specializations in Science and Technology, Music and Arts, Agriculture and Fisheries, Sports, Business and Entrepreneurship.

    How much will this cost?

    • The immediate cost for the program will not be needed until 2016 when the first year of the two additional years is implemented.
    • Meanwhile, we will continue to close the resource gaps in basic education – the President ordered DepEd to its close resource gaps in 2 years.
    o At this time, we estimate the total funding requirement to procure all needed resources at P150 billion.
     This means 152,569 new classrooms
     Some 103,599 more teachers
     95.6 million more books
     13.2 million seats

    What will the society gain from K+12
    • K+12 will facilitate an accelerated economic growth.
    • 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 socio-economic development.
    • Several studies have shown that the improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by as much as 2%. Studies in the UK, India and US show that additional years of schooling also have positive overall impact on society.

    Are private schools obliged to follow?
    • While we enjoy the support of private school associations, we are still going to discuss with them the implementation of the program.

    Why add two more years?
    • Decongest and enhance the basic education curriculum
    • Better quality education for all
    • Philippines is the only remaining country in Asia with a 10-year basic education program
    • K+12 is not new. The proposal to expand the basic education dates back to 1925.
    • Studies in the Philippines have shown that an additional year of schooling increases earnings by 7.5%.
    • Studies validate that improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by 2% to 2.2%.
    • Minus 2 instead of plus 2 for those families who cannot afford a college education but still wish to have their children find a good paying job. Right now, parents spend for at least 4 years of college to have an employable child. In our model, parents will not pay for 2 years of basic education that will give them an employable child. In effect, we are saving parents 2 years of expenses. The plan is not “Plus 2 years before graduation” but “Minus 2 years before work
    • Inspire a shift in attitude that completion of high school education is more than just preparation for college but can be sufficient for a gainful employment or career.

    What is K+12?
    • K+12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education.
    • Kindergarten refers to the 5-year old cohort that takes a standardized kinder curriculum.
    • Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves six or seven years of education
    • Secondary education refers to high school.

    “We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.” – President Benigno S. Aquino III

    Where are we at now?
    • Insufficient mastery of basic competencies due to congested curriculum. 12 year curriculum is being delivered in 10 years.
    • High school graduates are younger than 18 years old and lack basic competencies and maturity. They cannot legally enter into contracts and are not emotionally mature for entrepreneurship / employment.
    • Other countries view the 10-year education cycle as insufficient.

    K+12 Education Vision
    Graduates of Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program will:
    • Acquire mastery of basic competencies.
    • Be more emotionally mature.
    • Be socially aware, pro-active, involved in public and civic affairs.
    • Be adequately prepared for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education.
    • Be legally employable with potential for better earnings.
    • Be globally competitive.
    • Every graduate of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program is an empowered individual who has learned, through a program that is rooted on sound educational principles and geared towards excellence, the foundations for learning throughout life, the competence to engage in work and be productive, the ability to coexist in fruitful harmony with local and global communities, the capability to engage in autonomous critical thinking, and the capacity to transform others and one’s self.

  3. what provision or DepEd Order number about implementation of K+12

  4. what is the philosophical orientation underlying in the implementation of the k+12 basic education program?

  5. Thanks for the elaborate, clear, direct to the point discussions. You deserve a lot better to be a speaker of K to 12 matters that those from DepEd speakers I have encountered in many complicated seminars on k to 12. What is very disheartening is after a long blah
    -blah -blah, those speakers end their talk by saying “… there’s no finality to this issue yet.!” what a dismay!


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