By Melanie P. Estacio
The Davao Region officials headed by Atty. Alberto T. Escobarte were in full force in the K to 12 Caravan Cum Forum conducted in different divisions.
Through the caravan, local government officials, private sectors, parents, teachers, and students displayed their support to what they consider as the greatest reform there is in education.
“I was so negative with this new curriculum before, but when I joined the summit I realized that it could help the students gain more knowledge in preparation for college and in getting a job easier,” a grade 10 student from Kauswagan National High School in Panabo City said.
To prove that K to 12 program has been instrumental in equipping students with skills thereby providing them opportunities for jobs, Tagum City Schools Division Superintendent Cristy C. Epe cited Tagum National Trade School as one of the successful implementers of the curriculum being the Senior High School (SHS) Model. It has already produced two batches of graduates where most of them have already landed a decent job.
Recognizing the roles of the parents in educating other parents, Epe encouraged them to share their first-hand information on K to 12 and the steps undertaken by the department which is closely coordinated with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA).
K to 12 Milestone
The Universal Kindergarten Implementation began in School Year 2011-2012. All 5-year-old children are required to be in Kindergarten before they will be accepted to Grade 1.
In School Year 2012-2013, the enhanced curriculum for K to 12 was implemented. In 2013, K to 12 was enacted into law known as RA 10533. SHS Curriculum was finished in 2014 and for 2015, the Department is getting ready for the implementation of the SHS.
The Regional Office through Regional Memorandum no. 127, s. 2015 published the list of private schools and Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) with provisional permit to offer SHS. However, private schools are subject for evaluation and validation by the regional office headed by the Curriculum and Learning Management Division.
The evaluation will run from August 5, 2015 to October 15, 2015. Private schools found to have some discrepancy in their implementation requirements may not be recommended to offer on 2017 unless the issues will be addressed.
To facilitate the transition from the existing 10-year basic education to 12 years, DepEd is also implementing the SHS and SHS Modeling.
The K to 12 curriculum is standard and competency-based. It is inclusive and built around the needs of the learners and the community. The K to 12 program was carefully studied and designed based on research from other countries and our own local successes and failures in education. The curriculum is available on DepED website. It is the first time in history that the entire curriculum is digitized and made accessible to the public.
DepEd XI provided a list of core and applied subjects to be uniformly offered in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools. This is to make sure that all the students are taking the same core and applied subjects in every semester. This will provide easy facilitation in case students may transfer from one school to another.
Achievements and Plans
According to the Official Gazette Source of statistical data on K-12 Basic Education Program, the classroom shortage of 66,800 in SY 2010 has been addressed. There are 86,478 classrooms as of February 2015 with 41,728 ongoing construction for kinder to SHS.
The teacher item shortage of 145,827 was also addressed. About 128,105 teachers were hired as of December 31, 2014 with 39,066 additional items for 2015.
The water and sanitation shortage was also prioritized. From 135,847 shortage, about 80,197 were completed with 23,414 ongoing construction and 43,536 ongoing procurement as of May 2014 with 13, 586 programmed in 2015.
From the textbook shortage of 61.7 million, a 1:1 student textbook ratio has been accomplished since 2012 with 69.5 million additional learning materials for 2015.
For the shortage of seats counted as 2,573,212, a 1:1 student school seat ratio has been accomplished since December 2012 and 1,547,531 additional new seats for 2015.
The SHS Voucher Program provides qualified public and private junior high school completers with government subsidies which will enable them to enroll and study in Non-DepEd schools.
The voucher amount is determined by the location of the school where an SHS student is enrolled in. Cluster 1 has a full value of Php 15,000 for public Grade 10 graduate and approximately 80 percent value of Php 12,000 for ESC private Grade 10 graduate.
Cluster 2 has a full value of Php 17,500 for Public Grade 10 graduate and approximately 80 percent value of Php 14,000 for ESC private Grade 10 graduate.
Cluster 3 has a full value of 20,000 for public Grade 10 graduate and approximately 80 percent perfect value of Php 16,000 for ESC Private Grade 10 graduate.
Cluster 4 has a full value of Php 22,500 for Public Grade 10 graduate and approximately 80 percent value of Php 18,000 for ESC Private graduate.
A critical feature of the SHS voucher is that its value approximates the cost of public provision. What this implies is that government considers this program not as a means to reduce costs of provision but as a parallel form of education service delivery since the same investment is spent by government on those studying in public and non-DepEd schools.
To ensure that the voucher is equitable and that more students will be able to participate in the program, the SHS voucher value will not be a flat rate. Based on our initial estimates, it is likely that we will have three to four regional tiers with different amounts for the regional groups.
Within a region, we will classify our public school students into at most two groups. Public school students would receive full voucher value while the private school beneficiaries comprising mostly of ESC grantees would come from the second tier of grantees receiving approximately 80 percent of the voucher value.
DepEd recognizes that private school students have some capablity to share part of the cost of tuition, thus there is a difference in voucher values. Nevertheless, these amounts are much higher than the current subsidies that ESC students enjoy today which is either Php 6,500 or Php 10,000 a year.
On average, the voucher amount ranges from Php 15,000-16,000. This excludes the rider amount, which we estimate now to be about Php 5,000. We are continuously refining these estimates based on the latest available data.
What is also important to remember is that the voucher amount being paid to a school is determined by the school/SHS provider’s location and not where a student graduated from. It is possible therefore that a student who graduated from a school in Region 3, who holds a full value voucher, can enroll in a school in NCR and redeem the full value amount for NCR. This supports our objective of expanding student choice. (Reports from Ken Harvey C. Famor and Harley B. Aglosolos)