K+12 Education Program: Go Go or No No? “We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding. ” – President Benigno S. Aquino III This statement indicates the urge of our current president, President Benigno S. Aquino III, to uplift the quality of education and lifestyle of the Filipino people by adding two more years of basic education through K+12 Education Program.

K+12 program is in line with the his agenda of having quality education as a long-term solution to poverty. The program aims to create a functional basic education system that will produce productive and responsible citizens equipped with the essential competencies and skills for both life-long learning and employment by enhancing the quality of education in the Philippines . Furthermore, it aims to fully enhance and develop the students in order for them to be well-prepared especially in emotional and cognitive aspects. Through this, graduates will be able to face the pressures of their future workplace.

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In achieving this, the program should be able to give every student an opportunity to receive quality education based on an enhanced and decongested curriculum that is internationally recognized and comparable. This can be done by developing a curriculum that is rational and focused on excellence, producing a pool of highly qualified and adequately trained teachers, achieving high academic standards, especially in Mathematics, Science, and English at all levels, and lastly by producing graduates who are globally competitive and whose credentials are recognized internationally.

Another is to  change public perception that  high school education is just a preparation for college; rather, it should allow one to take advantage of opportunities for gainful career or employment and/or self-employment in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment. This could be done by producing graduates who possess skills and competencies that will allow them to be productive members of society or pursue higher education, and through coordination between the academic and business sectors, to change industry hiring practices taking into account the enhanced skills and competencies of K+12 graduates.

Though, it is indeed a good answer to eradicate poverty in our country, not all are in favor of the K+12 Education Program. There are students and parents complaining about the additional years and additional expenses. Undeniably, additional years in the education system will require more budgets not just from the government but from the parents as well. Apart from this, the schools subjected to this program would need additional classrooms, school supplies and better facilities. The program would need more qualified teachers as well.

But can this really be achieved if the government is continuously reducing the educational budget? It is understood that the government has limited sources or budgets to sufficiently allocate to the different sectors of the country, thus, prioritization is needed. Knowing what to prioritize would help in the progress of our country. But does the government really know what to prioritize? In 2010, Artemio Dumlao of The Philippine Star said that the biggest part of Philippines ’ 2011 budget will be allocated to the Department of Education and that this year’s budget is bigger than last year’s.

But this is not felt by most of the students and even the parents since not all parents are capable of providing enough for their family. For the students, the additional two years would just lengthen the studying period and nothing else. In addition, for the parents, the increase in the years of studying would equivalent to an increase in the period of hardship or suffering. It is because, for them, if their children can graduate earlier, and eventually get a job even if it is just a minimum wage work and help them support the amily, there is an earlier chance for them to be released from their burden. But for me, it does not end in budget allocation and prioritization. The government should also know how to make our country’s the education system keep pace with the changing job market. Before, it is enough for an applicant to get a job if he has a diploma. However, nowadays, applicants with specialized training have more edge over those that do not. It is not unknown for us that job market of Filipino work force is not restricted within the boundaries of the our country.

Most of our people work overseas. Providing the government with international currencies that could somehow dictate the country’s economy. And most of these overseas jobs are on the technical basis. Thus, the government should not centralize the allocation of educational budget to state colleges and universities but also to the other institutions that give technical and vocation training. To conclude, people say that poverty and ignorance are brothers. Many of our people remain poor because they lack education.

Thus, it can be said that it is indeed a must to have sufficient education to get a good job. In addition, we should keep it mind that there can be a lot of factors to consider for the K+12 Education Program to succeed. Nevertheless, as long as we just open our minds to change, we can unquestionably attain our most-aspired educational standards which will play a great role in our country’s development and can eventually, uplift us from poverty. However, with the government slashing the budget for education, would this really be a possibility?

Reference: Araullo A.. 2011. DepEd’s K+12 program begins. ABS-CBN News. (http://www. abs-cbnnews. com/nation/metro-manila/06/06/11/depeds-k12-program-begins) Department of Education. 2010. Discussion Paper on the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program. (http://www. deped. gov. ph/cpanel/uploads/issuanceImg/K12new. pdf) Dumlao, A. 2010. Philippines ’ 2011 budget skewed toward serving poor. The Philippine Star. (http://www. philstar. com/Article. aspx? articleId=629626&publicationSubCategoryId=63)