[by Rick Daligdig]
August 22,2022 is a very special day to Philippine Education Sector where it’s mark the return of the Face to Face classroom set up. Even the COVID-19 or the emerging monkey pox outbreak did not waver the determination of Department of Education headed by our Vice President Sara Duterte. Teachers, parents and students are excited to go back and ready to learn new teachings. This is also one of the agendas of President Ferdinand Marcos’s Jr during his first SONA.
The Educational Crisis.
Our fragile education sector was crippled more when pandemic hit us, The modular-online blended type of learning is challenged by the different factors- one is the internet connectivity. Followed by lack of gadgets by some students, also if you chose modular type of learning in the end, it’s the parents are the one’s answering the modules.
Education was being compromised. That is one the reason why this administration push through the return of face to face modality of learning. But before the pandemic stricken problems related to education sector. The great debate whether our education curriculum, the K-12 really really makes it promises?
The Promises of K-12 , Is this made to be broken?
The educational system of the Philippines was enhanced from the 10-years basic education into 12-years through the program called the K-12 Education Plan of the Department of Education. The curriculum starts in school year 2012-2013. Yet it entails extra cost to the parents. The new curriculum made some good promises.
First is the decongestion of subject skills and competencies. The students will be able to get sufficient instructional time to do subject-related tasks, which makes them more prepared and well-trained on that subject area.
An enhanced curriculum will decongest academic workload, giving students more time to master competencies and time for extra –curricular activities, thus, allowing for their more holistic development.
Second, graduate of this program will be more prepared to enter the labor force. They will be equipped with the skills needed for a specific job even without a college degree. At the age of 18, the age when they graduate from high school, they will be employable and competitive already.
Finally, Filipino graduates will be automatically recognized as professionals abroad because we are following the international education standard as practiced by all nations.
But after a decade of implementing the new curriculum, it seems that more of it’s promises have made to be broken.
For instance companies are still requiring a full four year college graduate to their rank and file position. I remember recently that a famous grocery chain in the country post a job hiring of cashier while it is good because they will employ people but what caught our attention is the qualification, it should be a college graduate! May I ask, is a graduate of K- 12 don’t know how to count?
Some companies demand that you should have an experience of a particular job post etc. etc. When you want to go to abroad for work still they looking for vocational or technical training before you land a job. These are the some of the gaps that our policymakers did not foresee in implementing it. In addition the terminal problem of lack of classrooms, textbooks and teachers adding up spice to the problematic curriculum.
The President wants a thorough review of the K12 curriculum. In the legislative side, both chambers are now having a series of oversight hearing regarding the implementation of the curriculum.
Education and it’s Role to Economic Productivity
According to the Global Partnership for Education , the Philippines ranked 55th in the Education Ranking by country in the year 2021, a three point slid from 2020 ranking.
While Macrotrends.net states that our country’s literacy rate in 2019 stands at 96.28% a decline of 1.9% in 2015’s literacy rate.
Educated population produce quality workforce available in the market. How can a company look for its new employee if we cannot produce quality graduates. Filipino’s abroad are also known for being skilled and professional workers.
If the government will not act now in our education crisis, then it will translate to economic slowdown that will hamper economic recovery and progress. Education plays a vital role on nation building.
Like the famous Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”