Did Educators in Universities in the Philippines Miss the Big Picture?
|Above captured from Rappler|
DepEd undersecretary Yolanda Aquino was pretty clear in describing what the additional years of K+12 entail:
"In senior high school or Grades 11 and 12, the subjects are Languages, Literature, Math, Science, Contemporary Issues (global issues, politics and governance, society and culture) Social Sciences or Humanities and track-specific subjects. Those who will go to college will take any specialization in academics while students who prefer tech-voc will continue to specialize in the course they took in Grades 9 and 10. At the end of the school year, students will earn a Certificate of Competency (COC) in Grade 9 and a National Certificate 1 or II in Grade 10.
Students in Grades 11 and 12 will undergo apprenticeship or practicum at companies identified by their schools. Quijano says the TLE courses are according to labor demands and in partnership with the business sector and the community."And the following statements from a consultation meeting involving the departments of labor and education as well as the commission on higher education should have been crystal clear:
“Redundancy is an authorized cause of termination of employment. Because of economic exigency, employers will be forced to terminate employees. Those who do not have students, are no longer needed,” said Romeo Montefalco, Jr., officer in charge of the Bureau of Labor and Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Montefalco met with teachers and non-teaching personnel of various institutions from across Mindanao in Davao City recently to discuss the K+12 program of the government. Also present during the consultation were officials from the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
At the consultation, the fear of the college educators was highlighted. Faced with the gnawing concern, Montefalco said those who will be losing their jobs will be most likely “absorved” by the government to teach in public schools.
He said there will be about 85,000 open posts for teachers as the government will implement the K+12.
Another solution seen is for college professors to teach students in grades 11 and 12.The plans have been laid out clearly, in my opinion. Of course, these are not necessarily well thought. Transfer of college faculty to senior high schools assumes that the logistics are in place. Are the college faculty in the same place as the high schools that need them? That would be the first question.
K+12 in the Philippines is really different from education systems in other countries. People easily mistake the new curriculum as a simple copy of what is done in the West. It is certainly not the K-12 system of the United States. The two additional years are basically in the middle, between primary and high school. In fact, it is quite difficult to distill what Grades 6, 7, and 8 really are in the US system. Some have algebra during these years while others do not. That is why there is a movement called "The Common Core", to ensure that the topics covered would become uniform across the country:
|The Common Core in Math for Grades 6, 7, 8 in US K-12|
The fact that K+12 is trying to address problems in higher education is one of its greatest weaknesses. Higher education, unlike basic education, is certainly not for everyone. Problems in colleges should have been addressed at a much smaller scale. The problem in basic education centers on learning outcomes and adding two years only skirts around the real issues of poverty in communities, shortages in resources, and lack of support for teachers. K+12 may in fact drive unwanted people away from higher education, but it does not solve the problems of basic education.