Basic Education leaders share triumphs amid challenges in K to 12 implementation

Monday, January 30, 2017

PASIG CITY, January 30, 2017 – The implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program is in full swing as more than 1,300 Department of Education (DepEd) personnel and stakeholders from around the country shared best practices in ensuring that every Filipino achieves quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education.

Napakaganda ng mga istorya ninyo, napaka-inspiring whether these are unhappy or joyous pero lahat nagre-release ng ating creative juices, nagre-release ng ating courage, that allow us to overcome fear, hindi tayo naghihintay kung ano sasabihin ng Central Office, ang marami sa inyo andyan na yung sitwasyon, kumikilos na kayo sa inyong sarling sikap and these are very inspiring,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized.

At the 2nd National K to 12 Conference held on January 10-11, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), DepEd gathered some of the nation’s most passionate education implementers, managers, and leaders who weathered the challenges of implementing the basic education reform through interventions and innovations to serve learners better.

During the conference synthesis, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Dina S. Ocampo discussed the following findings:

Kindergarten best practices include the contextualization and localization of curriculum and instruction materials; training-workshop for teachers on the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual education (MTB-MLE); clean, safe, and child-friendly classrooms; home visits, child mapping, early registration, and barangay meetings; and involvement of the community and stakeholders.

Results showed that learners’ love for reading was promoted; needs of learners with special needs were met; zero dropout rate; teachers’ enhanced skills in information communication technology and teaching strategies; and implementers gained better understanding of the policy.

Grades 1 to 6
Meanwhile, best practices in Grades 1 to 6 include designing of curriculum that enable teachers to cater to the needs of both Muslim and Christian learners; provision of self-paced learning materials; Learning Action Cell (LAC) sessions for the professional advancement of teachers; catch-up programs across all levels; capacity building for school implementers of Special Interest Programs; advocacies for Muslim parents aimed at increasing appreciation of the Madrasah Program; and involvement and collaboration with Muslim and indigenous peoples’ (IPs) elders.

The initiatives resulted in learners having more opportunity to learn Arabic language and Islamic values; increased enrollment and more learners staying in school; increased awareness of the needs of learners with special needs; better performance of teachers when efforts are recognized; and learners gaining confidence when their difference, abilities, and talents are recognized.

Junior High School
Junior High School (JHS) best practices include Basic Literacy Program for adult learners; use of virtual classroom for Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners; systematic trainings for teachers that integrate real-life scenarios and applications; school-based programs to reduce dropout rate; livelihood skills training; research on causes of student dropout; and scholarships from private individuals for adults and learners with special needs.

Results yielded increased enrollment and school participation; improvement in teachers’ competence; models of success in classrooms, schools, and communities; strengthened collaboration and harmonized efforts between local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders; increased community awareness on ALS; increased probability of employment for learners; and availability of reliable data leading to creation of appropriate school programs.

Senior High School
The Senior High School (SHS) program is heading toward full implementation with the roll out of Grade 12 in 2017. Best practices in actual implementation, learning environment, and governance include ensuring better distribution of program offerings per District or Division to answer to learners’ and communities’ needs through SHS mapping (including private schools, state and local universities and colleges, and technical-vocational institutions); utilization of LGUs conference hall, libraries, and barangay halls as SHS classrooms; redeployment of excess JHS teachers to teach in SHS based on their specialization; short-term scholarship for teachers; refined hiring process; collaboration with the Association of Private Basic Education Schools to reduce top-up fees; provision of dormitories for learners from remote places; and construction of additional classrooms, science laboratories, and TVL workshops from LGUs, government agencies, NGOs, government-owned and –controlled corporations (GOCCs), and private companies.

These collaborative efforts resulted in the enrollment of learners in their preferred programs; achievement of ideal class size and teacher-student ratio; address of classroom shortage; availability of learning materials for both teachers and students; accessibility of schools; and hands-on, experiential, relevant instruction and learning.

SHS support partnerships and linkages also saw best practices that include implementation of transparency system in any and all SHS transactions; constant monitoring and evaluation of schools; school-to-school partnership training; benchmarking in other provinces and countries; conduct of workshops, conferences, caravan, advocacy campaign, parents’ orientation, and consultative meetings on SHS concerns; dissemination of information through various media; and better partnership with LGUs, SUCs, LUCs, HEIs, TVIs, private schools, NGOs, industry partners, and alumni associations.

Results include increased enrollment in SHS; large percentage of the total enrollment in private schools received voucher; scholarship grants; teachers received training from experts in different fields; allocation of financial assistance to build and repair classrooms, schools, workshops, laboratories, and procurement of tools and equipment; public and stakeholders are more well-informed about SHS; private schools agreed to have minimal or no top-up for tuition of SHS students from public schools; agreed sharing of resources and facilities for work immersion and research of SHS students; and renewed commitment of partners.

Citing Che Guevarra, a Cuban revolutionary leader, Usec. Ocampo reminded the conference participants that “in this world, we need people who work more than criticize, who construct more than destroy, who make fewer promises and deliver more solutions, who expect to give more than they receive, and who say it’s better today than tomorrow.”