COCOPEA-BFHE Report on the Regional Consultation on K+12

I am reproducing here the formal report of the Consultation on K+12 run in Bikol (Region V) by the Regional Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) and the Bikol Foundation for Higher Education (BFHE) for the appreciation and reference of all stakeholders involved in the K+12 discussion. It was prepared principally by Atty. Rose Sergio.

Report on the COCOPEA-BFHE
Regional Consultation on the K+12 Educational Reform
Villa Caceres Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City
January 19, 2011

Rationale:

The assembly was designed to provide both administrators and faculty members of educational institutions in Bicol with a solid understanding of the K+12 educational reform, which had been publicly proposed as the newest program of educational reform instituted by the current administration. At the same time, it was also considered an effective opportune to elicit comments and suggestions on this policy on education, as well as on the multifarious concerns that are expected to arise as seen by people who would inevitably be involved in its implementation.
The output solicited from the participants is intended to form part of the growing database that will aid government in formulating the details of the phased and eventually, full implementation of the program.

Objectives:
1. Through the expertise of Dr. Isagani Cruz, explain to the administrators and teachers the basic framework of the K+12 educational reform as well as the intricacies that its implementation is expected to entail.
2. In recognition of the valuable insights and experiences of educators, solicit comments and reactions on the program towards refining it and lessening, if not totally eradicating, negative consequences of implementation on various stakeholders.

Participants:
All six provinces in the Bicol Region were represented in the assembly. Despite the unpredictable weather, educators from Masbate and Catanduanes also made it to the conference.

The body was composed of educators—administrators and teachers— from public and private education institutions. A few were providers of basic education, while majority were providers of both basic and higher education.

All educational institutions represented in the Assembly were members of either the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA)—particularly from CEAP, PACU, PAPSCU and TEVSAPHIL— or the Bicol Foundation for Higher Education (BFHE), or members of both COCOPEA and BFHE.

Proceedings:
The consultation started with the presentation/lecture of Dr. Isagani Cruz on the K+12 design. In his presentation, he highlighted the advantages of adding two more years to basic education. He noted the value of such move in the development of a stronger workforce, formation of the youth’s ethical values, preparation towards a more rigorous academic or scholarly track.

Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, on the other hand, presented a comprehensive lecture on the Revised Basic Education Curriculum with an analysis of its implementation vis-à-vis its conceptual design. Dr. San Antonio’s presentation was done with the goal of contextualizing the problems in basic education and thereby, bolstering the plausibility of instituting serious and more long-term policy changes

In the afternoon, the participants were asked to form groups of fifteen (15) members for purposes of the small-group discussion. The workshop focused on the key areas: one was identification of issues and the other was generation of recommendations to address the issues in the implementation of the K+12 reform. A facilitator was assigned to spearhead the discussion.

Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. presented to the plenary a curriculum design that can be adopted for years 11 and 12. The curriculum was designed for a “Career Academy with Entrepreneurship.” The aim of Fr. Joel Tabora’s presentation was to share with the group an example of the shape the Career academy might take and to encourage schools themselves to enflesh years 11 and 12 with concrete and specific content.

Result of workshop/small group discussion:

At the heart of the consultation was the participants’ resounding acceptance and support of the K+12 educational reform. A consensus was forged among the private and public educational institutions of Bicol to support the eventual implementation of the reform. Along with such consent is a commitment to be instrumental in generating similar support of various stakeholders in their respective communities.

The other equally important output was the valuable comments and recommendations articulated by the participants in relation to the policy.

The participants were given two questions to answer. These are as follows:
1. What are the priority concerns or issues in the implementation of the K+12 educational reform?
2. What are suggested solutions or recommendations to improve the implementation of the K+12 educational reform?

The concerns common to both public and private educational institutions are hereunder summarized:

I. Curriculum Design

All the break-out groups articulated curriculum design as a priority concern if a seamless and efficient implementation of the K+12 educational reform is envisioned. The common concern is ensuring that the curriculum matches and in fact will accomplish the goals of K+12.

The recommendations of the groups include the creation of a multi-sectoral commission that will formulate the curriculum. It was strongly noted that the industry be represented in the multi-sectoral group in order to ensure that the curriculum is likely to develop the competencies required by the different employment sectors. It was also aired that the grading systems and student assessment be correspondingly revised. Schools from the private sectors strongly encouraged the creation of a curriculum that will strengthen the formation of values among the young. A suggestion that curriculum specialists from the private sector be tapped to help the government formulate the most appropriate curriculum was made.

II. Teacher training/deployment

Both sectors agreed that teacher training and deployment is a serious concern that must be addressed prior to the implementation. It has been observed that the deterioration in the quality of education in the country is strongly attributable to the weakness or inadequacy in the academic and practical training of teachers. This concern has been a perennial problem in the education sector and implementing a new policy will not be successful, unless an aggressive move to solve this problem is seriously made. Furthermore, identified as a concern is the loading of some teachers in the tertiary level, especially those assigned to handle general education courses, once year 11 and 12 are already implemented.

It was therefore recommended by both sectors that the following actions be considered:
1. Develop relevant instructional materials;
2. Retraining of teachers in Kindergarten and Senior High;
3. Retooling of Faculty in the College, specially those handling general education courses;
4. Career counseling;
5. Comprehensive faculty development program;
6. Revision of curriculum for teacher education to make it more responsive to the needs of students under the K+12 policy.
7. For College teachers who will be asked to teach in the Career Academy, their salaries and benefits shall not be diminished.

Noteworthy is the recommendation of one group of representatives from the private educational institutions to create a synchronized systems of classification, remuneration and ranking of basic and tertiary education teachers.

III. Acceptance/Readiness of Stakeholders (parents/students)

All break-out groups were in agreement relative to the issue of acceptance or readiness of the program by parents and students. Noted was the observation that the success of the program will also greatly depend on the positive attitude and support of the parents and students. Dissent from such sector may prove to be divisive and may trigger difficulties in the implementation. The cause for dissent is the idea that two more years translate to increase in educational expenses.

Having noted such concern, the participants were one in recommending the following measures:
1. Call for a parents’ orientation/consultation regarding K+12 curriculum;
2. Conduct IEC – Information Education Campaign;
3. Strengthen career counseling and allowing the participation of the parents in such process;
4. As regards the problem of additional costs to teachers, it is recommended that more scholarships/assistance/supplements be given by the government through GASTPE or any other mechanisms.

IV. Ensuring Continuity of the K+12 Policy

It was a common observation among the participants that one of the contributing factors in the failure to improve the quality of education in the country is the lack of commitment on the part of the government, particularly the implementers, to sustain a particular reform. Educational reforms introduced by one administration may no longer be sustained by the next preceding administration. Thus, whatever initial developments have been made by a certain policy is in danger of being scrapped on its lack of support from the succeeding leader. Stakeholders in the education sector currently feel the same apprehension. Fear that despite its strong proclamation, the implementation of K+12 reform may be affected by the difference in the thrusts and priorities of the next leader, is real.

Having noted the above-mentioned problem, the participants were one in saying that legislation to institutionalize K+12 educational reform and insulate it from the passing fancies of administrators is necessary. This would pave the way for a more sustainable program considering the arduous process of legislation would be necessary to change it.

Another recommendation to address this issue is to implement a good monitoring and evaluation program to guarantee that the goals of K+12 are in fact met. There should also be a strong partnership among higher education institutions relative to Quality Assurance/Assessment studies.
V. Infrastructure to support the implementation of K+12
As observed by the participants, the implementation of the K+12 will inevitably require more classroom, laboratories and other necessary facilities. The fact that these elements are still lacking must be immediately addressed.
The recommendations to address this particular concern are:
1. Establish linkage for K+12 support;
2. Source out physical facilities;
3. Source out Laboratory facilities;
4. Increase in the budget of (public) schools;
5. Intensifying Income generating projects (IGP) Programs;
6. Intensifying tax collection;
7. Rationalizing fees.
8. For private schools, government subsidy for student fees (scholarship) and institution facilities is recommended.

A concern that is exclusive to the private education institutions is the expected decrease in enrollment. The participants from the private education sector recommended a strong and more comprehensive implementation of the EGASTPE Law that will encourage the students to go to private schools through government funding. Furthermore, they suggested the following measures:
1. government support in faculty development, scholarships, trainings/seminars, facilities;
2. career academies be handled fully by private schools though government subsidy;
Finally, it was recommended by the representatives from the private schools that the Career Academy be placed under supervision of the Department of Education, (DepEd) but in closest collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Development and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

[Submitted by COCOPEA Cluster President for Regions V, Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ and Atty. Ma. Rose Sergio, 23 January 2011]

APPENDIX TO THE REPORT
Output of the small-group discussion

PUBLIC SCHOOLS/COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES
Key Areas Issues Recommendations
Curriculum • Readiness/availability of curriculum for K+12

• Revision of curriculum

• Involvement of business/industries in the curriculum design to provide a match between education and employment needs

• Revise student assessment and grading system;

Teacher Training/Deployment • Preparedness of educational institutions in terms of resources and faculty training

• Instructional Materials
• Lack of Instructional Materials
• Insufficient/Outdated Books
• Effectiveness of I-pod • Training and retraining of teachers
• Intensive information disseminator re:K+12 changes/proposals
• Procurement of facilities that will respond to laboratory needs
• Government Subsidy for student fees (scholarship) and institution facilities
• Comprehensive Staff Development Program
• Re-training, re-tooling of faculty
• Values Re-orientation for teachers
• Orientation/Info dissemination to stakeholders
• Revise curriculum for Teacher Education;
• Revisit curriculum;
• Review and revise CMO
• Develop relevant instructional materials
• Retraining of teachers in Kindergarten and Senior High;
• Retooling of Faculty
• Teachers training program;
• Career counseling

Administrative • How to address the 2 year-vacuum after 2017-2018, 2018-2019? • Review retirement plan;
• Review hiring plan and HRD plan;

Acceptance of Stakeholders/Readiness of Stakeholders • Emotional and Psychological readiness of parents and students • Dialogue with parents and students
• Intensification of school counseling to prepare student
Ensuring continuity of the policy • Political Interventions • Maintenance/Sustainability of the program

Costs/Budgetary Concerns • Financial readiness of parents (resulting in decrease of enrollment in private schools • Strict implementation of the GASTPE Law
• Legal provision to allow students to work at the age of 16 so they can finance the additional years in the school
• School dialogue with parents/communities

• Procure & develop quality instructional materials
• Intensify IGP Programs
• Intensify Tax Collection
• Rationalize fees

• Bigger budget for personnel
• Increase budget for additional facilities;
• Provide attractive retirement package
• Provision of Scholarship
• Establish linkage for K+12 support
• Source out physical facilities
Source out Laboratory facilities

Monitoring and Evaluation • Monitoring and evaluation
• Good monitoring and evaluation program

• Partnership among HEIs in Quality Assurance Assessment studies

PRIVATE SCHOOLS/COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES
Key Areas Issues Recommendations
Curriculum
• Curriculum design

• Curriculum Development

• Decongestion of present curriculum

• If Kindergarten pupil has no readiness, can be promoted to Grade 1?; If not what measure can be done?
• 1 School Year is not enough for pupils to be reading-ready and be promoted in Grade 1;
• Time Frame (lead time, transition, etc.)

• Proposed Standard curriculum
• Redesign/reconstruct the curriculum and other programs
• Evaluation of system/tools
• Task forces (curriculum specialists on curriculum development)

• Strengthening values formation

• Review and revise the decongested curriculum

• Creation of a multi-sectoral commission to formulate the curriculum
Teacher Training/Deployment • Faculty not properly/adequately trained

• Issue on loading what prof. teachers will handle during the transition phase • Offer attractive salaries or benefits
• Training and Retraining of teachers
• Retooling those who will be affected
• Teachers’ training
• More trainings for teachers
• Maintaining the rank and salaries of teachers to be relocated
• More trainings (and retraining) for teachers

• For Grades 11 & 12, what will happen to the Faculty Members in College?

• Synchronization of classification, remuneration, ranking of faculty in basic and tertiary level.

Budget
• Lack of school facilities

• Decrease of enrolment in private schools

• Additional classrooms and laboratories

• For some schools offering only the college level may have problem in its enrolment turnout
• Government Support:
a. Faculty Development
b. Scholarships
c. Trainings/seminars
d. Facilities

• Ensure financial security (parents and school)

• Linkages/networking

• Additional facilities

• Gov’t lack funds; (career academies be handled fully by private schools/ out subsidy)

• Gov’t subsidy (both for admin and parents)

• Creative resources

• Government support

• Government subsidies (increase government subsidies for private elementary and HS)

Readiness/acceptance by parents/stakeholders • Schools might lack the readiness to implement the policy

• Problems in educational plan

• Additional cost for the additional two years
• Call for a parents’ orientation/consultation regarding K+12 curriculum

• IEC – Information Education Campaign

• Information campaign (parents, teachers/stakeholders)

• Ensuring Convergence of aptitudes and Interests with courses/offered

• Strengthen Career Counseling (include parents)

Sustainability • Fast changing leadership in the education sector • Clear road map of education: Collaborative Effort among DepEd and TESDA

• Legislation is necessary to insulate the program from flip-flopping leaderships

• Amendment/introduction of new laws to govern K+12 Program

Other comments:
• Career academy management shall be lodged under the DepEd, TESDA, and CHED)
• Consult the industry to ensure fair salary for Career Academy graduates and job assurance

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About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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