"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DepEd's K+12, Poorly Conceived Or Malicious

The Department of Education in the Philippines has reiterated on several occasions that the country is now prepared for its K+12 curriculum. Several weeks ago, the head of the department, Bro. Armin Luistro was quoted by Rappler, "We've already spent on this, and we've been working on this for the last 5 years...We've already seen improvements from our problems from 3, 4, 5 years ago. We're very, very ready for this." Before this previous school year started, DepEd assistant secretary Jesus Mateo stated that the shortage in textbooks has already been adequately addressed and every student is now equipped with a textbook.

Above copied from the Philippine Star

Although there is no doubt that DepEd K+12 is an inferior curriculum, a mere basket of wishful thinking, and a program totally lacking in evidence from research; Serious questions can likewise be raised regarding transparency of the department. One senator gave DepEd a failing grade in this area:

Above copied from NewsCentral
The Commission on Audit, the agency of the Philippine government which seems to complete its job always a couple of years late, recently reports on how DepEd has wasted hundreds of millions on textbooks.

To read this news article, visit Philippine Star
With such gross incompetence, it is shocking that no one takes responsibility. No one resigns. No one is fired, as if these mistakes are only expected. These are enormous funds wasted while classrooms remain overcrowded especially in the urban areas. DepEd's response to this audit does not really sound different from "The dog ate my homework." excuse:
“Textbooks are never totally obsolete inasmuch as basic knowledge and information and skills being developed do not become obsolete. The scope and sequence and the strategies may change but the concepts and ideas remain the same and can be enriched with the latest trends and developments in the specific area,”
600 million pesos do seem obsolete with the above excuse. It is apparent that DepEd has no sense of responsibility especially when it comes to wasting taxpayer's money.

But DepEd is always quick when it comes to wishful thinking and writing memos to teachers. When it comes to the grading system DepEd is as fast as light. DepEd Order No. 8 s. 2015 has now replaced the A, P, AP, D, B grading system introduced only three years ago. Now, it is back to percentages.

Grading is now divided into two components. Written Work and Performance Tasks. The following are guides for teachers on how these assessments can be made.

Not all the subjects are shown above. Language and math are among the core subjects in the early years but it is quite interesting to show what is expected in a subject like music. The above tells teachers how to measure how much their students are learning. A disconnect becomes obvious especially when one takes note of what students are actually taught inside the classroom . For example, here is what students are learning in language:

Students are not even exposed to text in first grade. How can these poor children even write a book review? DepEd, however, makes sure that teachers can do the required arithmetic for this grading system:

As noted above, DepEd states that "The minimum grade needed to pass a specific learning area is 60, which is transmuted to 75 in the report card. The lowest mark that can appear on the report card is 60 for Quarterly Grades and Final Grades." Readers can freely decide what these sentences really imply but for DepEd's K+12, its final grade is 59, and that is even after being utterly generous.

The culture of wishful thinking, unrealistic vision, and making up things is so pervasive in DepEd that such attitude even shows up in its own grading system.


  1. francisco gabatbatApril 2, 2015 at 9:29 PM

    yang si mr. armin luistro ang alam ko nagtapos yan sa mga malalaking eskwelahan di nya alam kung ano talaga ang problema lalo na sa mga public school sabi nya 1.1 ang ratio ng textbook kada istudyante, oo tama kayo jan dito sa NCR eh pagdating na ng mga provinces wala na,,,, PAGING GMA 7 IPAKITA NYO NGA ANG INYONG MGA DOCUMENTARY KAY SIR ARMIN LUISTRO TUNGKOL SA MGA ISTUDYANTE NA WALANG LIBRO,WALANG,CLASSROOM AT LUMALANGOY PAGPASOK SA ESKWELAHAN,TUMUTULAY SA LUBID SIGURO KUNG WALANG TUMULONG SA MGA BATANG IYAN,TULAD NG GMA7 AT IBA PANG MABUBUTI ANG KALOOBAN EH SIGURO HANGGANG NGAYUN nasa ganun pa rin silang kalagayan,kaya po wag nyong pilitin na masunod ang gusto nyong K12 na lalo lamang magpapahirap sa mga magulang lalo na sa mga teacher na di tinataasan ang mga sweldo,,,,,

  2. Ito ay isang uri ng malaking kitaan para sa mga mayayamang paaralan.

  3. So, what to do? Cancel the program altogether?

    Inquiry: Do you even know the political and practical circumstances in the field of education? Did you have practice on the ground as a teacher/ administrator, both in public or private schools in the Philippines? Are you even familiar with the complicated dynamics on the field of public and private education? Are all of your researches applicable in the field that you constantly critique? Are you familiar with implications of a highly centralized educational system in the Philippines? Do you have real-time, on the ground experience to verify your critique, outside from what you read from far-away foreign journal articles, online news articles or online opinion/comments of armchair writers, teachers or anti-k to 12 parents?

    "The culture of wishful thinking, unrealistic vision, and making up things is so pervasive in DepEd that such attitude even shows up in its own grading system."

    There's no real wishful thinking in the practice of leadership or management. In management, mistakes are a reality. It's a constant cycle of improvement of processes until one reaches the ideal standard. That's why mechanisms such as self-evaluation processes or SWOT analysis are crafted. There's little room for theory in practical management; one can only apply it on the core curriculum. The mere fact that DepEd is open to adjustments on the K to 12 makes me believe that the program is less about malice and more about idealist trying to move on with a noble but difficult task.

    The mere fact that there is this expectation from so many Filipino that they want a perfect program at hand ASAP is in itself wishful thinking, though.