Earlier tonight, I’ve seen from the evening news ‘TV Patrol’ a story regarding the Department of Education’s plan of increasing the years of basic education from ten to twelve years. The plan dubbed as ‘K plus Twelve’ will reorganize basic education. According to DepEd Secretary Bro. Armand Luistro, Elementary Education will remain to be six (6) years. The current four-year high school system will become a six-year system divided into junior and senior high school. Junior high will compose of four years and senior high, two years.
According to Sec. Luistro, the new system will teach students basic competitive skills that will enable them to take part in the workforce immediately after completing Senior High, or even Junior High. Technical skills usually taught in TESDA will now be included in the curriculum. Students will be taught dressmaking, handling electric equipments, welding, masonry, etc. In spite of the promise of this plan, many are not happily subscribing to this DepEd’s idea. Many are claiming that the additional two years will attach more burden to Filipino families due to the added cost entailed by the two more years children have to undergo before finishing basic education and moving on to higher education.
I, however am in full support with the ‘K plus twelve’ plan of the department of education. One of the problems of the Philippine basic education is that it is in a way designed as a mere preparation for tertiary education. Somehow, the elementary and secondary educations of the Philippines merely serve as a required step in order to enter higher education and nothing more. Due to this view, the system simply allow students to graduate without equipping them with enough skills and competencies to participate in the very demanding workforce since many think that in any case tertiary education will prepare them anyway. The flaw in the current educational system therefore is very obvious. Not many can afford tertiary education. College tuition fees are very expensive and even if luckily a student manages to enter a public college, the cost of transportation, food and book allowances and other miscellaneous fees will take a substantial portion of a struggling Filipino family’s much needed income. Since the ‘K plus twelve’ plan of the DepEd will include technical and vocational training to the new curriculum, Filipino youth will be trained for employment in various technical fields and will be ready right after finishing Junior high School or Senior High School. Likewise, should a student is determined to continue into higher tertiary level, he/she need not rely entirely to his/her parent for financial support. Through the technical and vocational training one will receive from the ‘K plus twelve’ system, one may effectively enter a gainful employment and personally support his/her education. In the long run, college drop outs due to financial constraints will be lessened for the better.
Danjun G. Lucas
Blog Entry #3