By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Education (DepEd) is committed to continuously implement the K to 12 program amid the “multi-faceted challenges” being faced by the agency in its implementation.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones relayed this to the House committee on basic education and culture on Thursday (Feb. 12) as the panel conducted its probe on the implementation of the basic education program.
Briones admitted that they are facing “challenges” in the implementation of the program, after ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro pressed the DepEd top official to admit that the implementation of Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 “has problems.”
“You are asking me if I admit there are problems, of course, there are challenges and the challenges are multiple, are multi-faceted, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop it,” she told the panel chaired by Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo.
Briones told the panel they are conducting a curriculum review, and that DepED is eyeing to finish its final assessment report on the K to 12 implementation by March.
“Hindi naman nating sasabihin na total failure ang education system natin…Ang challenge ngayon, we always say that, is quality, kasi ‘yun naman ang hinihingi ng Constitution, na mag-provide ng quality education sa lahat ng nangangailangan,” she said.
(We cannot say that our education system is a total failure. The challenge now, as we always say, is quality, because that is what the Constitution is requiring us, to provide quality education to all those who need it.)
Briones added that the curriculum review is being conducted following observations that the curriculum is “very overcrowded” and burdensome. “There are many competencies being demanded in the curriculum which we require our children to undergo.”
Castro asked Briones to submit a copy of their final assessment report on the K to 12 program implementation to the House panel.
“We welcome the assessment of the K to 12. We are finalising our report on the implementation of the K to 12 program, hopefully by the end of March,” Briones said.
She welcomed the Romulo panel’s move to review the program, which was provided for under RA 10533, which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on May 15, 2013.
“It was not reviewed in 2015. Prior to implementation, it was provided by law [that] it must be reviewed by Congress and we are happy that this is being initiated,” Briones said.
The K to 12 program adds two years to basic education. It covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education–six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.