The Department of Education (DepEd) should also consider freeing up some of the teachers’ workloads as it works to decongest the current basic education curriculum, Senator Joel Villanueva said.
The vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education issued the appeal as he called for a “holistic” review of the K to 12 curriculum to address issues in the quality of education in the Philippines.
An official earlier said results of the review, which is expected to streamline the curriculum, have been submitted to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
“Holistic din po dapat ang pagsasagawa ng curriculum decongestion. Sapat po ba ang kakayahan ng ating mga guro na magturo ng mga most essential competencies sa mga bata tulad ng higher-order thinking skills (Our approach to curriculum decongestion must also be holistic. Do teachers have enough capabilities to teach our children the most essential competencies, like high-order thinking skills)?” Villanueva raised in a statement Thursday, July 8.
“Para magawa po ito, kailangan rin pong i-decongest ang workload ng ating mga guro para makapag-focus talaga sila sa effective teaching (To achieve this, we must also decongest the workload of our teachers so they can focus on effective teaching),” he said.
“Hindi po pwede na babawasan mo lang ang curriculum (You cannot decongest the curriculum) without doing anything with the other factors in the system like teachers, learning materials, etc[etera],” the senator pointed out.
Villanueva welcomed the DepEd’s review of the K to 12 curriculum, citing the “gaps” found by the Philippine Normal University in relation to the country’s performance in the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
“Ibig sabihin, may mga kulang na mga competencies para makasabay tayo sa ibang bansa (This means we lack the competencies needed to be at par with other countries),” he said.
Aside from this, he said the review of the K to 12 must also result in reforms in higher education. He reiterated the need for coordination among the government’s education agencies.
The DepEd had demanded a public apology from the World Bank for releasing a report on the quality of education in the Philippines, saying, among others, that “more than 80 percent of children do not know what they should know”.
Briones said this was an “outdated” report, and that the country was “insulted and shamed” with its release.
The World Bank apologized on Thursday, July 8, and temporarily removed the report from its website.