Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte says the whole School Year 2022-23 is the time frame within which to conduct a comprehensive review of the country’s K-12 basic education program that has always been the object of close public scrutiny.
Speaking at the economic briefing held in Pasay City, Duterte revealed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had given the agency only until this next school year to submit its final recommendations on the fate of the K-12 program.
In a Cabinet meeting with Marcos on July 19, the Vice President, who heads the Education department in a concurrent capacity, asked permission to adopt the Duterte administration’s Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP), which was also spearheaded by former education chief Leonor Briones.
One of the tasks of the BEDP is to review the K-12 program.
“Secretary Briones already conducted, initiated the review of Kinder to Grade 10 and they are about to finish and wrap up and make their report on the review of Kinder to Grade 10. My administration will start the review on Grades 11 to 12,” Duterte said on Tuesday, July 26.
She already met with Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, who also has jurisdiction over the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), about the Senior High School program.
Duterte and Laguesma were both present at the post-SONA economic briefing jointly held by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Finance (DOF) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Tuesday.
“And we already agreed that there is a need to strengthen and intensify our coordination particularly in the Philippine Skills Framework between the DOLE and DepEd,” she said.
The K-12 program, passed into law during the Aquino administration, aimed to make Filipinos more globally competitive through an allegedly enhanced curriculum that would’ve made them master skills and concepts.
However, educators and parents have continually called for a review of the program because of the added burden of sending kids to school an extra two years to finish high school and the unreadiness of school facilities and educators’ capabilities in shouldering the immense work of the program. The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world to adopt the system of requiring 12 years of basic education.