What does it matter?

We call it officially ‘K to 12’ not ‘K+12’.”

This is what Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro said while explaining the department’s preference for “K to 12” to refer to DepEd’s flagship “Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Program.”

While there are several variations of the 12-year basic education model used abroad with different names such as “K-12”, “K+12”, and “K12”, Luistro said that the DepEd Steering Committee preferred the use of “K to 12” as it “captures the fact that not all features are new.”

He said that “K+12” may “mislead people that it’s only 12 years and not a total of 13.”
The term “K-12”, on the other hand, is not also used because “it sometimes read wrongly as ‘K minus 12’,” said Luistro.

K to 12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education. Kindergarten refers to the 5 year old who undergoes a standardized kinder curriculum. Elementary education refers to primary schooling that involves 6 years of education (Grades 1-6) while secondary education refers to four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10 or HS Year 1-4 ) and two years of senior high school ( Grades 11-12 or HS 5-6 )

 Those who got through the 12-year 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 or seven years from now).

 Universal kindergarten was offered starting SY 2011-2012. This SY 2012-2013, the new curriculum is offered to incoming Grade 1 as well as to incoming junior high school students ( Grade 7 or HS Year 1 ). The target of Dep Ed is to put in place the necessary infrastructure and other arrangements needed to provide Senior High School (SHS) education by SY 2016-2017.

 According to the Dep Ed studies, the K to 12 curriculum is designed to develop a learner who possesses a healthy mind and body ; has essential knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and self-actualization.; engages in critical thinking and creative problem solving; contributes to the development of a progressive, just and humane society, is proud to be a Filipino; and appreciates the beauty around him/her and cares for the environment for a sustainable future.

 Likewise individuals and families will benefit to the K to 12 program, in as much as the whole country as well…because a better educated society provides a sound foundation for long- term socio-economic development.

 This new curriculum will again be an exciting and challenging chapter in our history as we collectively strive to elevate the standards of Philippine education thereby improving the quality of our graduates.

 Good luck to K to 12!

By: Ma. Leonora C. Balcos | Teacher II | Gabaldon Elementary School, Limay, Bataan

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