Hegemony in Philippine Education: Rejoinder on K-12 Challenge

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Academics, Education, politics
Tags: , ,

What hope do we have for these children who will spend 12+ years of education?

While I wrote of the impact of K-12 on tertiary education in the Philippines, it is interesting to reexamine the positions I asserted and the suggestions I gave within the context of postcolonial world order and the promotion of national interest. Over the unnoticed dark cloud of hegemony in global education, Phillippine educators and advocates of nationalistic and culturally relevant education should be able to see the silver lining to provide the utmost quality of education for the Filipino students over the quantity of time spent in it the extended program across curriculum.

First, the Department of Education (DepEd) had made a sound and informed decision to adapt the K+12 program as an effort to align it to global standards. DepEd was able to clarify and justify this principled decision as to its costs and benefits to the government and the public, with a sound framework and rational perspectives. Local education stakeholders, then should commit their support to the program and to guard that its thrusts be realized as formulated. While the program framework guarantees to abide by the constituonal definition of  an educated Filipino, this interest must be strongly promoted and protected since the program is a willful subjection to existing hegemonoy in global education.

I am reading hegemony coming from a strong global emphasis on the number of years on basic education. The trend which resulted from the craftiness of countries of political and economic power imposes submission of other countries to some forms of international accords. In this situation, we have to restructure our educational system without abandoning national interest. Education that is emancipating for the people must be grounded in the context of our culture. Further, it should operate to achieve the ideals of our nation for our promotion and development, beyond that of fulfilling international requirement.

The other hegemony I sense results from ignorance  on such kind of development. Politically, the public has not been made so aware of the costs and benefits of implementing the K12 program. Except of standardization in the context of global competetiveness, nothing more is being communicated to the public. The DepEd is positive in its gradual implementation starting this school year, but teachers have to be made aware of what the curriculum is like. Foremost, this should have been set, but the K12 discussion paper does not tell this. On the first year of its gradual implementation, what is to be expected?

By principle, the K12 program is fine-tuning Philippine basic education. This will be done by declogging the curriculum that it will be made more relevant and authentic to help graduates in their preparation for work integration. Yet, the hegemony of ignorance is causing misunderstanding, lack of confidence and anxiety particularly among college educators. It seems that the idea of gradual implementation is slowing the momentum for education stakeholders to sit and plan the curriculum. Maybe they are doing what they have to do, but it’s just that the curriulum is not ironed out yet.

This hegemony of not being so informed about the K12’s implication to college education manifests in the teacher’s and administrator’s anxiety. The consultative assembly of college education stakeholders, organized by the Commission on Higher Education, has not come up with its analysis or framework for action. One idea is that some  “general education subjects in the college curriculum, may be transferred and integrated to the basic education curriculum”. Another idea is the tantamount consequence of K12 implementation to cause enrollment gap or lag for two years.

To allay the fears of college educators, strategic planning should anticipate and rule out implications as to the very principle of K12. If the program will be strictly implemented, the extended curriculum should not be moving down general education subjects from the higher education curriculum. This move contradicts the concept of “declogging” and “fine tuning”. Doing so is a double jeopardy for college education which in most case has a curriculum that is aligned to existing international standards. K12 challenges the basic education curriculum, but it has implications to college education.

The most obvious consequence would that be of the 2-year lag. I have discussed possible strategies for this in previous post. Before the impact, higher education can initiate offering pre-baccalaureate programs to give chance to those whose number of educational years are short to qualify globally. With such strategy, college education becomes more responsive to the global situation. However, providing pre-baccalaureate program demands a great deal of change in the higher education curriculum.

General education teachers will be affected. In providing pre-baccalaureate program, GenEd subjects will be moved to that. The next thing GenEd faculty should do is to create new program offerings for the revised college curriculum. This action will be for short term. The college general education curriculum may be reverted to its previous program or adapt the revised one. However, the decision should consider several concerns.

What the basic education curriculum, particularly on the last 2 years of high-school education, are comptency-based courses that have practical rather than theoretical context. It is not ideal to move the GenEd subjects in those years because it contradicats the very principle of declogging and fine tuning. The aim of K12 is to develop competent graduates, with skills and knowledge for them to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors or immideately land a job. The idea of having college GenEd subjects does not make sense at all, because GenEd subjects in college are preparatory for college academics reformulated to have value in lifelong learning and industry integration.

Now that K12 will be implimented coming this school year, participation in the decision making and planning must be heightened to include concerned. This is foremost done by breaking the hegemony of ignorance and non-disclosure of vital information. If we were far behind having lesser years of basic education, what then should we do is to look forward and beyond of what we used to give Filipino children and youth, right now for we have done this before.

K12 is a transformative challenge, we should all be accepting this challenge and working for its successful implementation.

  1. […] Dekonztruktschon While I wrote of the impact of K-12 on tertiary education in the Philippines, it is interesting to reexamine the positions I asserted and the suggestions I gave within the context of postcolonial world order and the promotion of national interest. Over the unnoticed dark cloud of hegemony in global education, Phillippine educators and advocates of nationalistic and culturally relevant education should be able to see the silve […]

  2. The other side of K-12 by Sarah Katrina Maramag of Migrante International:

    Proposed K 12 Basic Education System in the Philippines

    Ultimately, regardless of whichever “model”, what the youth and country direly needs is for the development and establishment of an education system that caters to the needs of the Filipino youth and the society in general.

    The crisis of the Philippine education system, in all levels, is stemmed not on the superficial, in this case the number of schooling years, but rather on the conditions and foundation on which it subsists. Unless the government addresses in earnest poor public spending, high costs of schooling, the predominance of a colonial curriculum, lack of transparency and accountability amid widespread corruption within the sector and the development of the country’s science and technology for domestic development, all efforts will remain on the surface.

    And neither 10 nor 12 years would make much of difference.

  3. pinoyleonardo says:

    I do not udnerstand why we have to conform to an “international standard” when in fact many Filipinos move on with the 10 yr education sytem- some take college education in other countries; some turn out to become excellent professionals at par with their counterparts elsewhere in the world who underwent a longer education system. We don’t ahve to dig too far to understand this. On the other hand, the government should control 2 year diploma courses to provide better qualifications and encourage employers when appropriate to hire graduates of these courses instead of requiring college degree for work that do not require it.

    • rod rivera says:

      Thanks for reading. International standards are observed when we look at a globalizing system. It is true that those who graduated in the 10 year Basic education system of the Philippines have proven their value in the workplace all over the world. With our basic education standards as per the length of education and curriculum improved, this should place our graduates at a leveled field. Consider our graduates who work abroad, their length of education has implications to the work that they can get and the salary they could get if they decide to work abroad. Let’s say if you want to migrate in Canada, being a college graduate from the Philippines qualifies you only as a High School graduate as per Canada’s standards. You would need to study further or take up a Bachelor’s degree if you want to be as competitive that you can be.

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