"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

Monday, April 6, 2015

"There Are Many Who Are Against K to 12"

This blog has recently reached its 1000th post. Over the past three years, the blog has recorded nearly 1.5 million page views. The most recent post, Deped's K+12, Poorly Conceived or Malicious, has been viewed 3200 times, and has recorded 420 Likes and 160 shares on Facebook. Still, in a country of nearly one hundred million people, these numbers are nothing more than a few drops in a bucket. Obviously, social media cannot provide a full picture of how people in the Philippines view DepEd's K+12. However, even with a more extensive survey, results would not necessarily convey either a true support or opposition to the new curriculum when the new curriculum is widely misunderstood or even unknown to a large number of people. DepEd's K+12 to most people simply adds two years at the end of high school in Philippine basic education. Unfortunately, DepEd's K+12 is so much more than just two additional years.

Agham, Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, in a recent paper, Science, technology and the K-12 education program, has enumerated the following features introduced by the new curriculum:
In pursuit of a strengthened curriculum, several reforms were provided in the EBEA (Enhanced Basic Education Act, Republic Act 10533), which include: (1) the spiral progression approach, (2) putting up career tracks as part of the senior high school including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strand of the Academic Track, and Technical-Vocational Track, (3) the Mother Tongue Based – Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE).
Agham then points out what is wrong with these features. A spiral progression approach that extends and mixes topics over a long period works against mastery of any of the science and math subjects. The introduction of career tracks in senior high school only "reveals a malevolent drive to produce "exportable" Filipino workers. Mother tongue education only exists in the early years and is replaced by Filipino and English.

The above are indeed drawbacks of DepEd's K+12. The biggest flaw, however, of DepEd's K+12, is its poor curriculum in the early years of education. Forced by multiple shifts in schools, students are deprived of important instruction and opportunities for learning.
"It's shortly after dawn, but the youngest pupils in overcrowded Ilugin Elementary School in Pasig City are already in class. Ilugin's grade one students are part of the first shift in a school that needs to schedule classroom use in three shifts to accommodate all 1,800 of its students. The first shift begins at 6 a.m., ending at 10 a.m., while the last shift starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m." - Mav Gonzales
The total instructional time per day of 240 minutes or 4 hours is divided into Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue - 40 minutes, Oral Fluency in Filipino - 40 minutes, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) - 30 minutes, Mathematics or Arithmetic - 30 minutes, Araling Panlipunan (AP) - 30 minutes, Music, Arts, Physical Education, Health (MAPEH) - 30 minutes, and Oral Fluency in English - 30 minutes.  The classic opportunity for social learning called "recess" is missing. There is no Science.

When achievement gaps are already present even before first grade, a poor curriculum in the early elementary years is only destined to make these gaps even bigger. Senator Trillanes has recently called for a more vocal opposition to DepEd's K+12.

Above copied from the The Inquirer
There are probably many individuals who are against K+12. However, the reasons behind opposing K+12 likewise come in different flavors. There is a group, for instance, called Tanggol Wika (Protect Language), whose main advocacy is the preservation of Filipino as subject and medium of instruction. Tanggol Wika is planning to submit a petition to the Supreme Court to suspend DepEd's K+12 sometime this month. One can also read comments from parents lamenting on the costs of two additional years of basic education.

This blog opposes DepEd's K+12. This blog is against the new curriculum because it does not address problems in basic education. The new curriculum severely neglects the early years of education. This blog speaks for the young children who hardly have any voice in their education.

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