DepEd's K to 12 Initial Results

This blog started about seven years ago. One of its first posts was an opinion article I wrote and was previously published by the Philippine Star. In that article, I emphasized that DepEd's K to 12 was not the solution to the problems plaguing basic education in the Philippines. Now, the initial results are out and the outcomes are dismal. Scores in the National Achievement Tests are down, passing rates in the licensure exams for teachers are now at their lowest level, and employment data indicate that high school graduates are unable to find work.

Senator Gatchalian, a staunch supporter of K to 12 during its initial implementation, shared these grim outcomes recently. In his presentation, he shows how scores in the national assessment for both grades 6 and 10 have dropped since the implementation of DepEd's K to 12:

Above captured from Inquirer's video

Gatchalian also mentions that it is now far easier to become a lawyer, citing that the current passing rate for teachers is only 27 percent.

Above copied from The Inquirer

This comparison, by the way, has likewise shown up in EducationWeek, indicating that a similar situation exists in the United States.

Above copied from EducationWeek

The fact that the United States is also witnessing a decrease in competence among teacher aspirants means that the problem does not really lie in the number of years in basic education. The problem in this case is with higher education, which likewise has been pointed out on numerous occasions in this blog.

Philippine basic education is in a depressing state because the roots of the problem are not being addressed. Instead, billions of pesos have been wasted on a new curriculum which do not respond to the needs in the early years. And the downward trend will only continue especially if all the policymakers can point at is the supposedly bad implementation of the curriculum. The problem is not implementation. The problem lies in how we prioritize.


  1. Blame it to the students' addiction to their computer games and mobile phones. K-12 has nothing to do with the drop in the Achievement scores. Same goes to students to take their board exams. How can they review well if they have ear phones plugged to their ears?

    1. I feel like that this is an unfair statement. I feel like it paints a dangerously broad picture of young people. We have to remember that in the Philippines, mobile phones are one of the cheapest ways to connect to the internet. Considering the number of OFWs in the country, it's also one of the cheapest ways to connect to family member abroad. And who's to say they're simply using ear phones to block the noise out?

      I am actually convinced that mobile learning is the future of learning in the Philippines. Even now, students are finding ways to use their mobile phones to learn. There's also a lot to be learned from computer games. It is all about how we design learning in the country.

      So, we really need to stop being so pessimistic about teenagers and technology. Both will find a way to be all right.


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