“Education, being necessary to the State for the promotion of its welfare and the preservation of its life, must be so developed and directed in such a way as to conform to the philosophy of the people as a whole and not of any special interests and to realize the objectives of the entire race and not any particular sector of it.
Private education may necessarily have certain goals which may not altogether be in consonance with those of the State-Unless we first ground our people in things which are common to us all, in the faithfulness to authorities of our land and in the loyalty to our common country, we shall be planting the seeds of division in our ranks , the fear and obedience to authorities over those of our government and loyalty to an organization other than of our own , noted by Enrique Sobrepena, a Constitutional Convention delegate”. The statement above meant that education is a continuous process of progress and growth. Thus , in this complex physical environment, education must be fully developed must be so as to balance with the drastic changes . The goals of education universal. Hence, everyone should have a common national purpose in education. Education in the Philippines has been subjected to many reforms and changes to meet the increasing demands of the society . 2 All the citizens must be fully equipped to be able to survive.
Indeed, education plays a vital role in shaping an individual. In the past years , many educational laws and policies were enacted. Nonetheless , several problems or issues still arise. In 2012, a new reform was established, namely, the K to 12 program . This program has two additional years in the basic education. The overall objectives of the K to 12 program are pertinent and beneficial to the growing demands of this present era . 1 Antonio Isidro, Trends and Issues in Philippine Education (Quezon City: Alemar-Phoenix Publishing House, Inc. 1972), 2. 2 Elena Tanodra, Philippine Educational System( Quezon City: Verh Educational Enterprise, 2003), 2. In this globally competitive society, one must be equally competent in all aspects of life so as to meet the international standards . Thus , the newly implemented program aimed to produce graduates with adequate knowledge, talents , skills , and experiences . However, in the Philippine setting, there are numerous problems that needed to be addressed more fundamentally. II.
Overview of the Philippine Educational System Education “Education, like any other terms , has various meanings and covers a number of aspects . Education, as defined in the Dictionary of Education, is (1) the aggregate of all processes by which a person develops ability, attitudes , and other forms of behavior of practical value, in society in which he lives; (2) the social process by which people are subjected to the influence of a selected and controlled environment (especially that of the school) so that they obtain social competence and optimum individual development. ”3
Generally, education is a process of instructing, training and learning to ameliorate and to develop the proper knowledge, understanding, skills , and formation of character of each individual to be utilized in the real world and to be of help for the nation?s economic , political, moral, and social development. Education has always played a vital role in attaining the general goals of national development and progress . Thus , the national leaders and all spheres of society are expected to give each individual all the chances of acquiring the aforementioned objectives that education aims . Herman Gregorio, Introduction to Education in Philippine Setting(Quezon City: Garotech Publishing, 1976), 1. Brief History of Philippine Education During the pre-Spanish period, there was no definite system of education in the archipelago.
4 During the Spanish regime, the education of the Filipinos was managed supervised, and controlled by the Catholic Church. 5 In the place of tribal tutors , Spanish friars and missionaries educated the natives through religion and from 1565 to 1863, there was no specific system of instruction. Lack of trained teachers , lack of funds , lack of instructional materials , lack of schoolhouses , poor communication, and the multiplicity of work were the six principal difficulties confronted by the teacher- missionaries . 7 One of the most significant highlights during this period was the promulgation of the Educational Decree of 1863, stipulating the compulsory primary education in the Philippines . 8 After the Spanish rule, Philippines was colonized by the Americans . Thus , education in the Philippines had been subjected to various changes . In 1901, the US colonial government through military commission issued Act.
No. 74 which created a Department of public Instruction “to insure a system of free primary instruction for the Filipino people”. 9 The system of public education established during the American regime was patterned after the American education system . A new curriculum was arranged after which experiments were made on courses , textbooks and other aspects of educational system to adapt to the new changes in the Philippine settings . 4 5 Tanodra,6. Dalmacio Martin, Centuryof Education in the Philippines(Manila: Manila Philippines Historical Association, 1980), 4. 6 Rebecca Marlow- Ferguson, ed. World Education Encyclopedia: A Survey Systems Worldwide (Farmington Hills: Gale Group, 2002), II: 1057. 7 Martin, 7. 8 Ibid. 9 Priscila Manalang, ed. , Philippine Education: Promise and Performance(Quezon City: U. P. Printery, 1992),
5. There was an increase in the number of enrollees; hence , private schools were started to be established to accommodate all the students . The Department of Public Instruction set up a three-level system of schools . The first level comprised of a four-year primary division and a three-year intermediate division, an elementary level that included Grade 7. 0 Furthermore, an educational survey was conducted with authority from the Philippine Legislature Act of Nos . 3162 and 3196 known as the Monroe survey which attempted to evaluate the educational system in the Philippines . 11 The problem which confronted the American period included inadequate textbooks , poor finance situations , a lack of trained educators and high dropout and failure rates . 12 The greatest effort, however, was directed to the improvement of the quality of the teaching force and method of instruction used in public schools . 13
In 1934, the U. S. Congress passed legislation for the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines which passed the Education Act of 1940 , otherwise known as Commonwealth Act. No. 586, that gives us a vivid picture of the old educational system created by Act 74 of the Philippine Commission. 14 The implementation of the Educational Act of 1940 15 abolished the seventh grade in the elementary schools . It revised the curriculum to permit the holding of double single session in the primary grades and instituting the one-teacher-one-class ratio. 16
Specifically, the primary aim of the Educational Act of 1940 is “to meet” the increasing demand for public elementary instruction and at the same time complies with the constitutional 10 Leonardo Estioko, History of Education: A Filipino Perspective(Quezon City: LOGOS Publications, Inc. ,1994), 190. 11 Ibid. 12 Marlow-Ferguson, 1058. 13 Tanodra, 23. 14 Gregorio, 17. 15 Tanodra, 23. 16 Serafin Guingona, Issues in Philippine Education(Manila: Manila Phi Delta Kappa, 1982), 6. mandate on public education. 17 Also in this period, character education and citizenship training as emphasized and vocational subjects in the general secondary course was introduced .
As Filipino practiced self-governance, there was an unexpected attack on the Philippines from the Japanese forces . Thereon, Japan took over the Philippines . The Japanese military administration permitted continuance of the operation and effect of all laws , both executive and judicial, which were in force under the Commonwealth government . 18 The Japanese emphasized dignity of labor and love for work. 19 The Japanese administration 20 ade drastic efforts to make Filipinos adapt the culture and ideology of Japan . III. Overview of the Philippine Educational System (Before K to 12 Program was implemented) The Philippine educational system , like any other countries , has undergone a long process of evolution. The objectives of education were clearly stated in the following legal bases of the Philippines : Article XIV of the 1935 Philippine Constitution states that “All schools shall aim to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, vocational efficiency, and to teach the duties of citizenship.
Article XV, Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution states that “All education institutions shall aim to inculcate love of country, teach the duties of citizenship, and develop moral character, personal discipline, and scientific technological and vocational efficiency. Section 1 of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution states that “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all . 17 18 Martin, 247. Martin,249. 19 Antonio et al. , Turning Points I: Philippine History(Quezon City: Rex Printing Company Inc. 2007), 263. 20 Ibid. As what embodied from the three articles of the different Philippine Constitutions , it expresses the educational ideal of the early Filipino leaders; it also expresses a recognized policy of our government since the inception of the educational system in 1901 . Hence, education has been subjected to many dramatic changes and reforms from the Spanish period up to the present day for its betterment. In 1972, the Educational Development Act of 1972 or Presidential Decree 6A was established.
A Ten-Year Educational Development program was framed. 21 The lementary education has goals of providing basic knowledge while the secondary education was aimed to strengthen the learning obtained from the elementary education in preparation for tertiary level to provide basic skills for potential employment . 22 In 1982, the Education Act of 1982 reaffirmed the objectives of the Education Development Act of 1972 and reformulated the objectives of elementary and secondary education in more precise time. In 2001, Republic Act of 9155, also known as the Governance of Basic Act was approved. 23 It promoted that basic education should provide the school age population and oung adults with skills , knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive, and patriotic citizens . 24 Based from the aforementioned provisions from the three Constitutions , it is assumed that education is the chief instrument for the achievement of national development and progress . The old Philippine school system comprises of three major education levels : elementary, secondary, and tertiary.
Under the Constitution the State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private institutions in the educational system and shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institution . 5 Hence, 21 22 23 24 25 Tanodra, 26 Manalang, 9. Manalang, 13. Ibid. Article XIV Section 4 Par . 1 of 1987 Philippine Constitution . schools may be funded by the government or by private individual. Elementary education provides six years of schooling which covers grades I to VI. Public elementary is free and compulsory and fully supported by the national government . Generally, the teacher handles all subjects in one class with a maximum of 56 pupils . 26 27
Secondary education offers general education program which prepare Public secondary schools are funded and controlled by the national government while the private secondary schools are funded and controlled by foundations , non-stock, and private groups . 28 Tertiary Level covers all post-secondary courses from one or two-year vocational or technical courses to four-or-five-year degree and professional programs , including graduate education at the masteral or doctoral levels . 29 Consistent to the objectives of education tertiary was geared to develop the full potentials of every student to a more productive being.
Due to deteriorating economy and deficiency in job opportunities , the highly educated workforce, including teachers fled to other countries to find jobs there , as a result, the unqualified teachers were the one left. 30 The primary concern is the apparent failure of the country?s tertiary education system to produce educated and manpower needed to spur growth. 31 It?s alarming that a number of students about to enter universities in the Philippines lack a basic mastery of key subjects , while those entering high school fared marginally better , a study conducted by the National Statistical Coordination Board. 2 Also, the educational system hinders the overseas Filipino workers competing in the growing global market for professionals .
For example, Thailand does not consider Philippine degrees , even those from the best-known universities , as equal 26 27 Department of Education Memorandum No. 178,s. 1988. Department of Education Order No. 26,s. 1995. 28 Tanodra, 41. 29 Ibid. 30 Guingona, 89. 31 Felixberto Sta. Maria, Higher Education Reform: Now or Never(Manila and Quezon city: congress of the Philippines, 1994), 3. 32 Laurel Guira, “State of education RP „alarming?- study”, Daily Tribune, July 4, 200, at 1. o those awarded by its own institutions because the system allows students completing only 10 years of basic education to go for university diplomas . 33 According to CHED and the Philippine Task Force, a 10 year-basic education cycle poses problems for the tertiary institutions and graduates . 34 Thus , due to several reasons and recommendations by other reliable organizations; and due to the urgent need for reformation in the educational system in the Philippines , K to 12 program was established. III. Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 (K to 12 Legislative Reform) A.
The K to 12 Program Defined “The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills , develop lifelong learners , and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development employment, and entrepreneurship. The adoption of the program is in response to the need to improve the competitiveness of our country’s graduates as the ten-year basic education cycle is seen inadequate for work and higher education. 35 B. Rationale “ It is urgent and critical to enhance quality of basic education in the Philippines that?s why the government should come up with an education program that is affordable by the Filipinos and should be aligned with international practice.  The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students . Many students who finish basic education do not possess sufficient mastery of basic competencies . The National Achievement Test (NAT) for grade 6 in SY 2009 2010 passing rate is only 69. 21%. 33 34 Sta. Maria, 8.
Ediberto De Jesus, “New Year hopes for education”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 9, 20120, at A9. 35 Department of Education, Discussion Paper, October 5, 2010.  International tests results like 2003 TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) rank the Philippines 34th out of 38 countries in HS II Math and 43rd out of 46 countries in HS II Science . In 2008, the Philippines was ranked lowest.  The current basic education is designed to teach a 12-year curriculum , yet it is delivered in just 10 years .
 This quality of education is reflected in the inadequate preparation of high chool graduates for the world of work. About 70. 9% of the unemployed are at least high school graduates and 80% of the unemployed are 15-34 years old. The World Bank Philippines Skills Report in 2009 reveals based serious gaps in critical skills of graduates .  Further, most graduates are too young to enter the labor force. This implies that those who do not pursue higher education would be unproductive.  The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education . For most parents , basic education is usually seen as a preparation for college education. 8] The short duration of the basic education program tends to be unfavorable for the OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) .
The graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals . The Washington Accord prescribes 12- year basic education as an entry to recognition of engineering professionals .  More importantly, the short basic education program affects the human development of the Filipino children. Psychologists say that children under 18 are generally not emotionally prepared for employment or higher education disciplines . 10] Cognizant of this urgent and critical concern and in line with the priorities of the Aquino Administration, DepEd intends to raise the quality of basic education through the enhancement of the curriculum and the expansion of the basic education cycle.  The Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program seeks to provide for a quality 12- year basic education program that each Filipino is entitled to . This is consistent with Article XIV, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Philippine. ” 36 36 Id. , at pp. 3-5. C. History “As early as 1925, studies have observed the inadequacy of the basic education curriculum .
As one of the most well studied reforms , recommendations of either adding or restoring 7th grade or adding an extra year to basic education have been put forward. ” 37 The following were the educational studies , reforms , and recommendations done by the different sectors: a. )Monroe Survey (1925): Secondary education did not prepare for life and recommended training in agriculture, commerce, and industry. 38 b) Prosser Survey (1930): Recommended to improve phases of vocational education such as 7th grade shop work, provincial schools , practical arts and home economics . 9 c) UNESCO Mission Survey (1949): Recommended the restoration of Grade 7. 40 d)Education Act of 1953: Under Section 3, mandates that “[t]he primary course shall be composed of four grades (Grades I to IV) and the intermediate course of three grades (Grade V to VII).
41 e) Swanson Survey (1960): Recommended the restoration of Grade 7. 42 f) Presidential Commission to Survey Philippine Education (PCSPE) (1970) : High priority be given to the implementation of an 11-year program . 43 g)Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) Report (1991) :it recommends one of two 7 38 39 40 41 42 43 Department of Education, Discussion Paper, October 5, 2010, p. 6 Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. alternatives : Seven year of elementary education or Five years of secondary education. 44 h) Presidential Commission on Educational Reforms (2000) : Reform proposals include the establishment of a one-year pre-baccalaureate system . 45 i) Presidential Task Force on Education (2008): In discussions on a 12-year pre-university program , it is important to specify the content of the 11th and 12th years and benchmark these with programs abroad. 46 44 45 46
Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. D. Benefits of the Enhanced Basic Education Program “The Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program will be instrumental in achieving the nation?s vision of a high school graduate.  An enhanced curriculum will decongest academic workload , giving students more time to master competencies and skills as well as time for other learning opportunities .  The K+12 proposal will be designed to adjust and meet the fastchanging demands of society to prepare graduates with skills essential for the world of work.  Graduates will be prepared for higher education.
Due to an enhanced curriculum , basic education will ensure sufficient mastery of core subjects to its graduates such that graduates may opt to pursue higher education if they choose to.  Graduates will be able to earn higher wages and/or better prepared to start their own business . This should also allow greater access to higher education for self-supporting students .  Graduates could now be recognized abroad. Filipino graduates , e. g. engineers , architects , doctors , etc . , could now be recognized as professionals in other countries . 7] The economy will experience accelerated growth in the long run . The objective of the K+12 program is to improve quality of basic education . Several studies have shown that the improvements in the quality of education will increase GDP growth by as much as 2%.  The Philippine education system will be at par with international standards . K+12 will facilitate mutual recognition of Filipino graduates and professionals following the Washington Accord and the Bologna Accord .  A better educated society provides a sound foundation for long-term socioeconomic development.
It will contribute to the development of emotionally and intellectually mature individuals . ” 47 47 Id. at pp. 7-8 E. New Curriculum under the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 “After considering various proposals and studies , the model that is currently being proposed by DepEd is the K-6-4-2 Model. This model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12) . The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies .
The curriculum will allow specializations in science and technology, music and arts , agriculture and fisheries , sports , business and entrepreneurship, etc . Kindergarten and 12 years of quality basic education is right of every Filipino, therefore these should be provided by government for free in public schools . Those who go through the 12year program will get an elementary diploma (6 years) , a junior high school diploma (4 years), and a senior high school diploma (2 years) . A full 12 years of basic education will eventually be required for entry into tertiary level education (entering freshmen by SY 2018-2019).
The SHS will offer areas of specialization or electives such as science and technology music and arts , agriculture and fisheries , sports , business and entrepreneurship, etc . and subjects for advanced placement. In implementing the K-6-4-2 proposal, DepEd will take into account the issues and concerns of all stakeholders including the high school graduates before 2016. The mechanics and other details of the transition plan will be threshed out with HEIs in coordination with CHED , TESDA and other critical stakeholders . ” 48
The overall design of Grades 1 to 10 curriculums follows the spiral approach across subjects by building on the same concepts 49 developed in increasing complexity and sophistication starting from grade school. Mother Tongue shall be used as the 48 49 Ibid. Department of Education Order No . 31s . , 2012 . medium of instruction and as subject from Grade 1-3. English and Filipino is used from grade 4 to 10. Both languages are taught from Grade 1 to 10. 50 50 Ibid. IV. Issues A. Budget Allocation in Education It used to be that a good education meant a ticket out of poverty.
For a lot or people that hope still rings true, but unfortunately those who need a good education the most are the ones who can?t afford it. The constitution mandates that education be given the highest budgetary priority but still we have one of lowest allocations for education in Asean. The 51 United Nations recommended for developing countries to allocate the equivalent six percent of GDP for education while the World Bank notes that it should be at least 20% of the Philippine?s budget . Nonetheless , the funds allocated for education are only 2. 3% of GDP and 12% in the General Appropriations Act. 52 B. Teachers A recommendation concerning the status of teachers was signed by the UNESCO and the International Labor Organization on October 5, 1966. 53 It stated that teaching is a profession which requires expert knowledge and specialized skills , acquired and maintained through rigorous and continuing study. In addition, UNESCO? 2005 EFA Global Monitoring Report, entitled “The Quality Imperative”, recommends that policies aimed at better learning must focus on certain key elements , preferably uniformly and teacher quality is one. 4 However, in the Philippines , the government has been unable to recruit qualified, competent personnel or failed to keep those already in its roster.
This has degraded the quality of public 51 52 See Guingona Jr, v. Carague, 196 SCRA 225 (1991). See also Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs, Access to Education: Issues and Alternatives (Quezon City: center for Social Policy and Public Affairs, Ateneo De Manila University, 1989), 7. 53 Butch Hernandez, “Quality teachers for quality education”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 11, 2008, at A13. 4 Butch Hernandez, “What makes school effective,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 15, 2007, at A15. goods and service government delivers . 55 This lack of credentials in many public school teachers has led to a decreasing quality of education in the schools , and as a consequence, the warning competitiveness in the students . 56 In addition, of the Elementary school teachers tested for English proficiency in he school year 2006-2007 by the DepEd, only 60% passed. The secondary teachers ared worseonly 20% passed. 0% were below the desired proficiency and 10% failed the test. 57 C. Facilities/ Textbooks/ Classrooms A militant organization, citing figures from the United Nations Education, Scientific , and Cultural Organization?s Institute for Statistics , said the average class size in the Philippine public elementary schools is 43. 9.
The figure is higher for secondary school, at 56. 1. Compare these figures for elementary schools in neighboring countries : 31. 7 in Malaysia, 22. 9 in Thailand, and 40 even in populous India. The figures are similar for the secondary level. 8 While countries all over the world are spending billions just to reduce their public schools? class size, the Philippine government wants to double the number of students per classroom it its public school system . There?s one factor that plays a big role in the failure of the educational system specifically in the classrooms shortage- population growth and a simple case of supply and demand. The population grows at such tremendous rate that additional classrooms and school buildings , and larger cut in in the national budget every year cannot meet the demands . 9 55 Butch Hernandez, “What makes school effective,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 15, 2007, at A15. 56 Ibid. 57 Michael Lim Ubac, “DepEd chief: RP education has sunk to its lowest level”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 3, 2008, at A15. 58 Ernesto Herrera, “Public schools need more money”, The Manila Times, November 22, 2011, at A4. 59 Ibid. V. Conclusion 60 Reforming the academic system is a complex process . Education entails not only the acquisition of knowledge and skills but the formation of values .
The revision of the curriculum , for example starts a series of events the results of which can be detected only after many years . In this undertaking such factors as government, politics , funding, and the role of private enterprise are inevitably involved. Any attempt to change the status quo, particularly if the revision adversely affects interest groups , will be resisted. The government will most probably face stiff resistance from various quarters in introducing new concepts and ideas . Its efforts would be challenged by critics as biased or unsound.
In the year 2012, the government has introduced a new curriculum , the K to 12 program . This reform was a significant milestone in the Philippine educational reform and perhaps the boldest reformation embarked on by the education sector . The aim of the k to 12 program to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills , develop lifelong learners , and prepare students for tertiary level and employment due to the need of competitiveness globally. 61 In addition, it was implemented to meet the increasing demand of the society and at the same time comply with the Constitutional mandate of public education.
This has been supported by numerous official studies in the Philippines educational system . As early as 1925, studies have observed the inadequacy of the basic curriculum . The survey recommendation is to restore the 7th grade. The other surveys also suggested the same, namely: Monroe survey, Prosser survey, UNESCO Mission survey, Swanson Survey. The other studies which suggested the additional one to two years in the basic education are the following : Presidential Commission to Survey Philippine Education, Congressional Commission on Education, Presidential Commission on Educational reforms , and Presidential Task Force on Education. 0 61 Guingona, 98. Department of Education, Discussion Paper, October 5, 2010. However, there are lots of issues that must be addressed first . Primarily, the budget allocation of the government to the education is an issue years ago up until now . The Constitution mandates that education must be given the highest budgetary priority; however , the Philippines was still one of the lowest allocations for education in the Asean. Only 2. 53% of the GDP of the Philippines is allocated to educations sector .
Secondarily, the lack of competent teachers in the public education is also an issue . The government was not able to recruit enough qualified teachers . Also, there are still several classroom shortages , lack of good facilities in the schools , and lack of adequate teaching materials . How can students be able to learn in facilities not conducive in learning? How can the students acquire the needed skills and knowledge if even the teachers are not qualified enough to teach and train them? How can students learn more if the textbooks they will use are erroneous and very used already?
How the parents of these students will prepare if such notice of the newly implemented program was only in a short span of time? Those problems must be solved first before anything else . The other reforms may be implemented after the immediate problems are gradually decreasing . Truly, the K to 12 programs has goals to meet the international standards to be competent enough; however , this is not the proper time. The time is when all other pertinent factors in improving the quality of education are ready.