On the suggestion of Atty. Joseph Estrada, Atty. Rose Sergio has drafted an “Explanatory” note to the Proposed Bill Legislating K+12 (see yesterday’s blog):
Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
First Regular Session
House Bill No. _______
Introduced by ______________________
The strength of a nation greatly depends on the strength of its education system. The Philippine government subscribes to this belief as evidenced by Article II, Section 17 of the Constitution, which states that “[t]he State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development.” Moreover, Article XIV, Section 1 of the Constitution mandates that “the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” Cognizant of the unmistakable primacy given to education by the State, it is imperative that efforts to achieve a coherent, solid and competency-based basic and tertiary education be institutionalized.
The country’s current reality provides a context that the State still has a lot to do to improve the education system, particularly basic education. Notable is the fact that due to financial challenges, a great majority of high school graduates seek employment only to end up facing work without the necessary values, skills and competence. It is also a recognized reality that in the country not everyone is able to obtain higher education due to costs and lack of academic preparedness to meet the rigors of scholarly life. Furthermore, the desired quality of tertiary education, in most instances, is unmet due to weak foundational basic education. Even a completed tertiary education struggles to be recognized in the international sphere to the disadvantage of the country’s college graduates.
The existing 10-year basic education program consisting of Kindergarten and ten (10) years of elementary and high school education has been found to be deficient in both content and duration compared to global standards. The current basic education curriculum has been found to be too congested and generally fails to prepare graduates either for work or further higher education. It also falls short of the twelve years generally assigned to basic education by most country’s in the world, thereby creating problems as regards international accreditation and competitiveness.
Mindful of the urgent need to reform the education system as an indispensable requisite for a well-grounded and realistic national development and an internationally-competitive workforce, the endeavor to create a basic education framework that is more responsive to the demands of the times is both indispensable and urgent. Such reform is what this bill envisions to achieve.
The basic education system shall therefore be institutionalized as including Kindergarten, six (6) years of elementary education, four (4) years of high school and additional two (2) years of career academy, thus K+12. This reform shall address the inadequacies in the current basic education curriculum by enhancing the curriculum, developing values and core competencies of students to prepare them for work right after career academy, strengthening the academic preparedness of those who wish to pursue higher education, and generally forming independence, and practical liberal values necessary for them to contribute to the development of the society.
On the basis of the foregoing considerations, the passage of this bill is earnestly sought.