Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Education's Agenda

SECRETARY ARMIN LUISTRO  has issued a Press Statement on his First One Hundred Days at the Dept. of Education.  From the looks of things he has a full plate as he lays out a 10-point Education Agenda for the next six years and beyond:
(1) the 12-year basic education cycle,   
(2) universal preschooling for all,
(3) Madaris Education,
(4) technical vocational education,
(5) “Every Child a Reader” by Grade 1,
(6) Science and Math proficiency,
(7) assistance to private schools as essential partners in basic education,
(8) rationalization of the medium of instruction,
(9) quality textbooks, and 
(10) partnering with Local Governments to build years more schools.
I shall have occasion in the coming weeks to look at each of these in some detail...

Perhaps the most ambitious task that Deped sets out to do in this administration is the planning and implementation  of  the proposed K-12 Basic Education System which will feature universal kindergarten starting as early as age 5. This would be followed by elementary school (Grades 1 to 6); four years of "Junior High School"; and a final two years of Senior High School.  The definitive DepEd document on K-12 is this Paper which notes that Philippines would be the last country in the region to adopt K-12, and one of only three countries remaining in the world.

The Philippines currently maintains a ten year public school system which will soon be expanded to 12 years of Basic Education plus Kindergarten, for a total of 13 year preparation before collegiate studies or gainful employment at around age 18.

There are currently five major subjects taught as part of the 2002 Basic Education Curriculum (English, Math, Science, Filipino, and Makabayan). K-12 will have its own custom curriculum

According to the DepEd Factsheet of 2009 there were about 20 million students enrolled in the elementary and secondary schools throughout the country.  This number increases by up to 2 million a year at the current birth rate.

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