President Benigno Aquino III signed K to 12 Basic Education Program into law (Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, or the K-to-12 Act). I know many parents still worry about this because the government added 2 more years in our basic education system. Meaning, instead of taking up elementary and high school for 10 years, now it will be 12 years.
Some groups are opposing the program because they said it would be an added burden to the parents. However, the Department of Education stressed out that K to 12 will not bring additional burden to parents because the government will fund the additional 2 years in High School.
To make K to 12 clear, a child should undergo Kindergarten before going to six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School and 2 years of Senior High School.
Teachers will be using the Mother Tongue language (local dialect) in Kindergarten, Grades 1 to 3. Examples, activities, songs, poems, stories, and illustrations are based on local culture, history, and reality. This makes the lessons relevant to the learners and easy to understand.
Aside from the Mother Tongue, English and Filipino are taught as subjects starting Grade 1, with a focus on oral fluency. From Grades 4 to 6, English and Filipino are gradually introduced as languages of instruction. Both will become primary languages of instruction in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS).
After Grade 1, every student can read in his or her Mother Tongue. Learning in Mother Tongue also serves as the foundation for students to learn Filipino and English easily.
Grade 7 up to Grade 10 is referred to as Junior High School. After finishing Grade 10, a student can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or a National Certificate Level I (NC I).
Grades 11 and 12 are Senior High School. There will be a core curriculum for Senior HS.
Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).
After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
NC I and NC II improves employability of graduates in fields like Agriculture, Electronics, and Trade.
After finishing high school, students can opt to work part-time or continue tertiary education.