A Recent Graduate of DepEd's K to 12 Speaks Out

A former associate editor of the Bedan Roar, a publication of the San Beda Manila Senior High School, recently wrote an opinion on DepEd's K-12 on CNN Philippines. Feeling despondent, Cristina Chi writes in her first paragraph, "Today, it appears that the first students to graduate from K to 12 have been forgotten and swept in the dustbin of history. After enduring two additional years of high school where the implementation was unclear for teachers and students all throughout, the guinea pigs of the K to 12 reform have every right to be distressed at the Department of Education’s lack of evidence of its success."

Above copied from CNN Philippines

Although Chi laments about how ineffective DepEd's K to 12 has been, her article is actually a good example of critical thinking and writing. So, perhaps, going through a poorly designed educational system can ironically lead to learning how to think critically. Chi exemplifies how a student can excel not because but in spite of an educational system. But her case is most likely an exception and not a rule. 

This blog over the past six years has been critical of DepEd's K to 12. The fact that the new curriculum is not based on evidence or research guarantees its failure. But, more importantly, the lack of resources such as classrooms and textbooks, and the scarcity of teachers who are qualified to deliver the curriculum are enough to ensure an unfortunate and inescapable outcome. 

The Department of Education needs to act now. There are so many issues within the curriculum that can be addressed at the moment such as not teaching the math and sciences in a spiral fashion in high school. There is already a dearth of teachers qualified to teach science - having a curriculum that requires a teacher to handle physics, biology, chemistry, and earth sciences, all in one year, is simply stupid. Tracking in senior high school goes against equity in education. If K-12 prepares students for higher education, it must do it for all. If K-12 prepares students for jobs after high school graduation, it must do it for all. Basic education must always be education for all. K-12 must be used for one of its original purpose: Decongesting the basic education curriculum. With this, proper time and attention can be given to the early years of education where students are already failing. Having enough qualified teachers requires a lot of time and effort but the above curriculum changes do not. It simply requires stubborn and misguided minds to face reality.

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