By DELIA BAGNI
BAGUIO CITY — According to Pines City National Highs School Principal Rachel M. Bugtong, the K+12 curriculum only shortened the time for each subject and did not really change the old teaching system.
While government sees the program K+12 to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship skill of students, the principal says otherwise.
“Kung saan tayo kinulang doon pa tayo nabawasan,” (there was reduction to where we are lacking) says Bugtong.
Originally, five hours is spent for English and Math subjects in a week and six hours for Science. With the k+12 system, it is reduced to four hours per week, five hours for Science.
Bugtong said that the part where the country’s students still lack skill is also the same which the Department of Education (DepEd) reduced the time allotment. She said that longer period should be provided to these subjects to enhance the students’ knowledge and skills.
According to the report of the Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade, there is a low percentage of college graduates who are applying for local as well as multinational Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) companies passed the interviews and screenings. The reason cited for this is the inadequacy of English proficiency and other required skills of the graduates.
In the academic year 2004-2005, elementary pupils got a failing average of 59 percent in English, while high school students got 51 percent. The passing mark was 75 percent based in the National Achievement Test.
The students who failed were obliged to take summer classes for them to be able to advance to the next year. However, PCNHS still implements the regular time of the three subjects with the permission of the DepEd, as long as the time required is met by the teachers.
Bugtong emphasized that the more vacant time for students means the more chance of learning nothing.
Government claims that the adoption of the K+12 program aligning it with the education system of other countries will raise the competetiveness of the country’s graduates. DepEd said last year that the Philippines is the only remaining country in Asia that implements the ten year basic education.
According to the Alliance of Concerened Teachers (ACT), the students can hardly gain skills when in reality, Philippine schools are faced with the lack of classrooms resulting to overcrowding, shortage of books and other instructional materials.
ACT Teachers Partylist in an earlier statement said that due to the failure of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to provide adequate funding for education, the existing shortages in the basic education system will be aggravated by the unmet requirements of K+12, particularly its Kindergarten component. # nordis.net