DepEd urged to address ‘overcrowded’ curriculum to address challenge of quality

Published August 26, 2021, 8:02 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Among others, the Department of Education (DepEd) needs to decongest the current K to 12 curriculum to address challenges of education quality in the country.


“The curriculum is overcrowded, putting a lot of pressure on teachers and learners to master it,” said Pam Robertson, a Senior Research Fellow at the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne, during the pilot episode of the Educ Forum Series launched by DepEd on Thursday, Aug. 26.

DepEd, in collaboration with the Philippine Forum for Quality Basic Education (Educ Forum), launched the virtual forum series titled “Addressing the Challenge of Education Quality: An Educ Forum Series.”

The virtual forum series aims to discuss issues and topics surrounding DepEd’s flagship campaign for education quality or the “Sulong Edukalidad” and to serve as a platform to inform, discuss, and refine reform initiatives, and coordinate further action.

The pilot episode focused on the K to 12 Curriculum Review Results. Experts from the DepEd, Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC), Philippine Normal University (PNU), and Central Visayan Institute Foundation (CVIF), presented findings and analysis of the said review.

Curriculum review

During the forum, DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio explained that K to 12 curriculum review is a “quality control mechanism that primarily examines the curriculum” in its various phases – intended, implemented, assessed and achieved.

He explained that it is “not simply meant to fulfill” one of the provisions of RA 10533 of the Enhanced Basic Education Act to review the curriculum but is also part of DepEd’s commitment to “ensure quality, relevant and liberating basic education for all through continuous curriculum refinement.”

The review, he said, explored the extent to “which the national tests assess the intended curriculum” with a focus on students in Grades 3, 6, 10 and Senior High School (SHS).

“The review further aimed to see the alignment of national test items with the content of [the] intended curriculum,” San Antonio explained.

Dr. Marie Therese A.P. Bustos of ACTRC, meanwhile, explained the context of the current curriculum review.

She discussed concerns on student achievement on national tests which are “below expectations” and why “overcrowding of curriculum” is a concern. She also talked about teacher preparation for curriculum implementation.

Aside from overcrowding of curriculum, Robertson also discussed how “student achievement can be improved through greater curriculum alignment.”

She also discussed the recommendations for the intended curriculum which include reducing the number of learning competencies; ensuring that the learning competencies are necessary for building competence in fundamental knowledge and skills; and revising the sequencing.

Other recommendations include making the “circulation of learning competencies explicit” and addressing a “cognitive demand expectations.”

Finally, she underscored the importance of adopting a “consistent explicit, framework for 21st century skills for use across DepEd.”

CVIF President Dr. Christopher Bernido and PNU President Dr. Bert Tuga also served as the reactors during the forum.

Teachers from both public and private schools nationwide were also “highly encouraged to participate” for greater awareness and public discussion on education issues.