K to 12 (also K-12) is an education system under the Department of Education that aims to enhance learners’ basic skills, produce more competent citizens, and prepare graduates for lifelong xjobs.org/ learning and employment. “K” stands for Kindergarten and “12” refers to the succeeding 12 years of basic education (6 years of elementary education, 4 years of junior high school, and 2 years of senior high school).
At present, the Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries in the world with a 10-year pre-university program.
Why Push for K-12 Basic Education Program?
- The K-12 program offers a decongested 12-year program that gives students sufficient time to master skills and absorb basic competencies.
- Students of the new system will graduate at the age of 18 and will be ready for employment, entrepreneurship, middle level skills development, and higher education upon graduation.
- The K-12 program accelerates mutual recognition of Filipino graduates and professionals in other countries.
- Kindergarten is mandatory for five-year-old children, a pre-requisite for admission to Grade 1.
- The new curriculum gives students the chance to choose among three tracks (i.e. Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts) and undergo immersion, which provides relevant exposure and actual experience in their chosen track.
- Students lack mastery of basic competencies due to a congested ten-year basic education curriculum.
- Graduates of the old curriculum are younger than 18 years old and are not legally ready to get a job or start a business.
- Foreign countries perceive a ten-year curriculum as insufficient. They do not automatically recognize Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as professionals abroad.
- Kindergarten (a strong foundation for lifelong learning and total development) is optional and not a pre-requisite for admission to Grade 1.
- Old education system offers a broad curriculum that does not include enough practical applications.
In 2011, the Department of Education (DepEd) administered a shift to a fresh learning scheme — the K to 12 basic education program. Many people were resistant to the new education system. Despite this, the government is keen on revolutionizing the Philippine education. Here’s an update on how the government prepared in implementing the new education curriculum. A downloadable copy of this infographic is available here.