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Schools to adopt 12-year basic education
Government says change is critical to enhancing prospects for graduatesParents, students and school officials clean schools in preparation for opening of classes on June 4. (Photo by Pauline Dycoco)
- Ronald O. Reyes, Manila
- May 31, 2012
When the academic year begins on Monday, new students will embark on a journey that will see them spend 12 years in compulsory education, instead of the previous 10.
The new K-12 education program is urgently needed to improve basic education and prepare graduates for the world of work, Education Secretary Armin Luistro says.
It covers mandatory kindergarten, six years of primary or elementary education, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.
The Philippines is the only country in Asia and one of the three in the world that follow a 10-year compulsory education cycle, Luistro said yesterday.
He said most graduates under the previous system were not adequately prepared to enter labor force and usually failed to find gainful employment.
Those who could not afford a college education ended up either unemployed or were exploited by employers, he said.
The 10-year system falls well below international standards and is therefore detrimental to Filipino professionals abroad, he added.
The new system applies to all incoming grade 1 students and incoming junior high school students.
Senior high school will then start from 2016 when junior high school students finish the first four years.
By 2018, the country will have its first graduates of the new system.
Luistro also said 30 model schools are being prepared to test an experimental senior high school curriculum in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, a government agency in charge of manpower development in the country.
Senior high school graduates are also expected to master one foreign language other than English, be it German, Japanese, Mandarin, French or Spanish.