If these kids will spend more time in school, make sure they spend those times with quality!

In simple terms, K-12 is a necessity to align Philippine Basic Education Curriculum to that of the global standards, by adding two years of senior high school to the current four year secondary education, and another year for mandated kindergarten. This as planned will push through the coming school year.

While many have touted on its impact to the basic education curriculum, to the economy, and to our bid in synchronizing our educational system to world standards, rare is the discussion on its impact to tertiary education. The urgent challenge that administrators need to think about is how to cushion the impact of this new cycle to enrolment. But of high  importance is the evaluation and re-engineering of the curriculum to address the changes in the cycle.

Starting next school year, the DepEd will implement the system to incoming grade one students. Based on the briefer that Department of Education posted online, the incoming high school will also be the first beneficiary of the free 2-year senior high school education which is designed to enable them to obtain the employable skills with their diploma. This scenario means that colleges and universities will face a lag in enrolment for two academic years between 2016-2018.

Implications of K12 Implementation

 The aims of the enhanced K12 or K -6-4-2 have positive implications to improve the education that every Filipino student should get. College educators could attest to the fact of the lack of preparation that high school graduates receive when they enter college. Because basic education is free in the Philippines, this should not actually harm the many poor families in the country. What should everyone be aware about is the implementation of those aims to assure quality education.

The government should take every course available to guarantee that it meets the reported needs of the Department education for rooms, teachers, facilities and trainings. It should ensure that education gets its recommended 6% budget allocation as the UNESCO sees it fit.

The government will require completion of the 12 year basic education cycle on entry to college by AY 2018-2019. The urgent challenge then should be an opportunity for colleges and universities to innovate and reinvent while addressing the impact on student enrolment. Since, the rationale for implementing the K12 system cycle is to align our standards of education to that of what is globally accepted, then higher education institutions will have to take a proactive stance to this change.

The Philippine economy is much dependent on international labor and the remittance of migrant workers. Everyone just seem to want a job abroad, but with the Bologna Accord to be in full swing starting 2010, the chances for the Filipino workers to integrate in international labor becomes lean, particularly in Europe and North America.

This is a situation that should also be addressed, and this becomes an opportunity for colleges and universities to offer prebaccalaureate programs to provide students additional years of education. These programs that will be offered should guarantee students employable competencies or entrepreneurial know-how that can ensure them livelihood if they wish not to pursue a college degree.

Cushioning the Impact of K12 on Colleges and Universities

 A proactive strategy that private colleges and universities will have to do is to give the last three batches of graduates from the old education cycle options to take a pre-baccalaureate, international baccalaureate, or associate degrees for two years before they take the four-year degree course. In this attempt, general education teachers will have to design academic programs and reengineer their existing programs for the change.

Apparently, private higher education institutions are oblivious of what to do, because the Commission on Higher Education has not laid its plans yet or provided the HEIs an outline of the college education curriculum. The DepEd Secretary, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, secretary says that one impact of K12 implementation is higher enrolment because the subjects will be downsized and some others will have to be taken in High School.

This projection contradicts what K12 is supposed to provide Filipino students in terms of giving them the education that is comparable to global standards. A college graduate from the Philippines  is short of qualifications in other countries because of the 10 year cycle we have for basic education. Our degree programs in colleges are almost patterned to world standards. Hence, cutting down on the subjects or reducing the length of college education will result to the same dilemma.

There may be subjects that will be taken in high school from the present college curriculum. The challenge now is to offer more vital subjects for the the college students, advancing their knowledge skills to be better off when they start their career. The expected impact of K12 on HEIs willl be probably felt four years from now, but as informed individuals the academe has to set its course action by now.

With strategic actions from HEIs the impact of K12 implementation will be cushioned. Now, what teachers from the basic and secondary education should be reflecting about is how to make these 12 years of education meaningful and fruitful. The hopes of those kids who walk a long road to get some education should never be failed in those longer years of travails.

The length of the road and time walking to school can be bearable, what is not bearable is the poor education they get to keep them poorer even after they get their diplomas.

    • marybeth says:

      Hi..I’m wondering if there is someone knows the different designs, models, approaches and guiding principles of curriculum development?..Thank You.

  1. Hi Rod.

    Congrats! and thank you! this article of yours is one of the most read posts in HRonlinePH. more power!

  2. Argee says:

    Interesting post!

    Since I teach in the basic education, I’m not aware of the implications of it to tertiary level.

    But those are great ideas- the idea of ‘junior college’ – 2 years before entering formal college programs. I think it will strengthen dramatically the quality of college graduates we have.


    • marybeth says:

      Hi..I’m wondering if there is someone knows the different designs, models, approaches and guiding principles of curriculum development?..Thank You.

  3. rod rivera says:

    Thank you Argee 🙂

  4. The Carolinian says:

    Hi Mr. Rod Rivera. My name is John M. Destacamento and I am the current editor-in-chief of The Carolinian, the official student publication of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. On behalf of my editorial staff, I would like to ask your permission allowing us to reflect your work entitled “K-12 Challenge to Philippine Tertiary Education” in one of our feature pages. Rest assured that your name as well as your blog’s will be acknowledged and that it won’t be used for personally-vested purposes. We have just subscribed to your wordpress blog via our email: thecarolinian.usc@gmail.com. Thank you!

    • rod rivera says:

      Thank you so much, I appreciate your interest on the post. How I wish I could be sent a copy of your student paper as well when it is published. When you say reflect,do you mean you are reprinting it, or you are citing or critiquing it?

  5. The Carolinian says:

    It will be my pleasure, Sir to send you a soft copy at least of the publication. I don’t know, it may not be possible for us to send you the physical hard copy. Aah, we mean publishing the whole article as you wrote it Sir, including those photos of kids walking to school and riding on the bike.

  6. annc says:

    Hi Sir. I’m writing a paper on tertiary education and one of the factors affecting the industry in the future is K+12 (which is going to be part of my paper), may I quote some parts of your work in it?

  7. cnuyda says:

    Dear Rod,

    As I was searching for a topic to conduct a research on, I thought about this topic. I came across your blog and I would like to ask for your permission to cite parts of your blog.

    Likewise, I would like to ask if the figures (Implications… and Cushioning…) are yours? The reason why I ask is that it would allow me to cite them properly.

    Many thanks

    • rod rivera says:

      except for the pic, all of those ideas presented in the post were mine. Sure you may cite the material as your one of your sources. Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. Eugene James Guanzon Sycip says:

    With the new K-12 program, Filipino high school graduates will definitely be more competitive than the past generations. The new program means that the present GEC in all colleges and universities will have to revised. So far, CHED has decided that the new GEC will consists of 12 subjects which is equivalent to one school year. With this, there are also plans to reduce college degrees from 4 to 3 years because of this. According to them, with the new education reform, Phil. education will be compliant to international standards such as the Bologna Accord (Europe). But this is not exactly true. The Bologna Accord requires that in all first cycle degrees (that is, the baccalaureate degrees), the total number of credits to be earned by the students is 300 credits (or units), which is around 60 subjects (5 credits/subject), all related to the specialization chosen. If our college degrees are to be reduced to 3 years, then the situation will remain the same: they will not be at par with international standards. What CHED should do is study and analyse college courses in Europe and the US and make sure that our universities can really be recognised or homologated without having to take further courses to earn recognition. Most filipinos have a hard time having their degrees homologated and this has negative consequences: they cannot practise their professions abroad. Our degrees are patterned after US degrees and our major subjects usually total to 36-42 units on the average. US degrees are not easily recognised as equivalents to European degrees since the latter require a lot more major units. And another important thing, the Higher Education Act aims to enable Filipino graduate to be globally competitive. Filipino graduates cannot be globally competitive or have an edge over their foreign counterparts if they are only proficient in one language, English. In the 21st century, a high level of proficiency in English is not enough, you are supposed to know it, it is taken for granted that you speak the language; but to be globally competitive, a working knowledge in another foreign language, like Spanish, is necessary. For example, a lot of Filipinos may want to work in the US, this means that if they want to compete with Americans and other immigrants in obtaining jobs, then they should offer an added value in their curriculum vitaes like a proven practical knowledge in a foreign language. We may say that we are multilingual, but knowledge of Tagalog will not give us an “edge” abroad, not even in our own country. Another example: jobs in the Business Outsourcing Processing Industry are increasing in the Philippines, proficiency in another foreign language would mean an substantial increase in employee wages. It seems that CHED has not taken this into account. Nor are there any plans to include foreign languages in University courses. Only the DepEd has implemented the Special Program in Foreign Language to enable high school graduates acquire at least a basic level of proficiency in a chosen language (Two years of foreign languages, with 2 hours of weekly classes only lead to a basic level of proficiency). There should be a foreign language requirement (at least through the intermediate level) for graduation in the university level, a requirement that actually exists in most colleges and universities in the US and Europe. Only in this way would our university graduates be globally competitive.

    • rod rivera says:

      Eugene, thanks for laboring to write about your insight. I do agree that Tertiary Education in the Philippines, at the onset of K-12 need not reduce the length of years. I’d rather hope for redesigning the subjects schools will offer to be more relevant to the students, to the industry and to our nation. GEC reduction will take place, but this should not be interpreted as value reduction of General Education. The role of GE should be preparatory for the core subjects for each degree. Thus, new courses will have to designed and offered by GE. This will be institutional decisions that are vital to give each school a niche.

      • Gene Eric says:

        Actually, there is talk by technical panels to shorten college curriculum, example engineering will now be shorten to four years, some courses to three years. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/382497/ched-lays-out-new-ge-subjects-for-colleges-universities-with-k12-program

      • Eugene James Sycip Guanzon says:

        If theey finally decide to shorten courses to three years, then they are going to make a big mistake. CHED should maintain the four or five year courses, add more major subjects. That is, if the gov’t really wants our university degrees at par with not only US college degrees but also European programs. Right now, for example, it’s not very easy to homologate Filipino college degrees abroad, not only because of the 10 year or 11 year basic cycle, it’s because of the program contents of our degrees. While in most AB courses, for example, the usual number of units of major subjects ranges from 36 to 42 units. This is only 12 to 14 specialized subjects. Even if they increase it 60 units. These units cannot compare to the number of units taken by European students. As you might know, the new Bologna university degrees may last 3 or 4 years, this means 180 credits or 240 credits at the end (around 5 or 6 credits per subject equivalent to 125 or 150 hours of coursework, in class and outside classwork). Roughly the equivalent to our units, this would be 36 subjects/units or 48 subjects/units. The difference is that all of these subjects refer to their concentration 36/48 major subjects compared to our 12/14 major subjects. Obviously there is a big difference. The number of credits in the Master’s degree programs depend on the number of credits earned in the Grade degrees (from 60 to 120 credits in theMA programs). The requirement is to have earned 300 credits. It is a requirement to have finished 300 credita before going to PHD studies. My point is, what CHED should do is, aside from the 36 units of GE subjects, require universities to add more major subjects. I graduated from one of the top three universities in the PHilippines with a BA degree in Economics, but I realized that I couldn’t homologate my degree because of the big difference in the content. I would have had to take up the lacking subjects to compensate, which was roughly 2 more years. I think this is the problem, our university degrees are only recognized in the US, not all, but most of our degrees, but in Europe, one can hardly homologate his easily. I think that after one year of GE courses, the three years should still continue and should be devoted to major subjects which should be equivalent to 36 major subjects/3units (78 units). This would be equivalent to the 180 minimum credits required for graduation in a European univ. before going to graduate school. Taking up graduate studies in Europe is no problem, in Spain for example where I actually live, as long as you have your college degree legalized or recognized officially in the Philippines as a degree that allows you to take up further advanced studies. The problem is when you want to practise your professión, then your Filipino degree must be homologated subject per subject and if there are subjects in a European degree and in yours they are lacking, then you have to study again. The basic education requirement is important if one wants to take up a college course abroad (minimum is 12 years). Luckily in private schools in the PHilippines most have nursery and kinder plus 7 years of grade school and 4 of high school. Then this helps. I just hope that our universities would not cut the number of years to only three.

  9. Jm Dorado says:

    Good day Sir! I am writing a Synthesis paper as a requirement in school. May I ask permission to cite some parts of your blog. Rest assured that I will acknowledge the author. Godbless! 🙂

  10. Maribel says:

    Good day sir! It seems that my classmate had also used your blog in our Synthesis paper. I have the same issue, sir. Please allow me also to use some parts of your article. Rest assured that you will be acknowledged.

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