DepEd to start ‘K+12’ in June

Published by rudy Date posted on April 26, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to implement the first phase of its ambitious K+12 (kindergarten plus 12 years) proposal with the establishment of thousands of “kindergarten schools” in most of the 38,000 public elementary schools throughout the country by the opening of school year 2011-2012 this June.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said yesterday the kindergarten schools would also be bolstered by thousands of pre-schools to be created from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) barangay day care centers in collaboration with the Department of Health.

Luistro said the DepEd was given much encouragement to push ahead with their grand plan to add two years to the basic education curriculum (BEC).

The current BEC has 10 years of elementary and secondary education, but the DepEd now wants to have six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school and an additional two years of senior high school.

Luistro said consultative meetings in the country’s 17 regions regarding the K+12 program have been completed, and results of a survey conducted among the participants of these meetings showed that 77 percent approved of the plan.

“We’re very happy with the results,” Luistro said in a press briefing yesterday at the DepEd central office in Pasig City.

Luistro noted that there were even several regions, namely IV-A, IV-B, V, VII, VIII, XI, and Caraga, that were 100 percent supportive of the program.

The stakeholders invited to attend the consultative meetings were students and educators in private and public schools, their parents, and representatives from the government and the private sector, according to Luistro.

The education chief, however, said there were also some sentiments against the program that were raised during the meetings.

“We noted that in most of the regions, there was a turnaround in sentiment on K+12 when we explained it clearly, when we presented the benefits of the program and allayed concerns on the additional costs and years in school,” Luistro said.

He said that what they emphasized was that the K+12 program will make high school graduates ready for employment straight out of high school.

The DepEd earlier said that the K+12 plan is projected to need additional funding amounting to P43.67 billion for more classrooms, teachers and textbooks.

But Luistro said the DepEd is not yet focusing on the financial aspect of the program since the additional two years of school that will be instituted in public schools will only be set up by school year 2016-2017.

“That’s a long time from now. We’re focusing now on addressing the current shortages in classrooms,” Luistro said. –Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star)

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