K–12 Educational Reform in the Philippines
The Republic Act of 10,533 or Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (K–12) is one of the biggest reforms the Philippines has experienced after more than 50 years of having a 10-years educational system. The most significant contribution brought by this reform is the additional 2 years of Senior High School (SHS) which makes the new system befitting to international standards (Oxford Business Group, 2021). Moreover, all technical and vocational courses are also offered to prepare students to join the workforce (Barlongo, 2015). The adoption and implementation process of the K–12 system has been a well-discussed matter before its execution. In the Transitions to K–12 Education Systems: Experiences from Five Case Countries publication prepared by the Asian Development Bank, they enumerated eight factors that influenced the reform in the Philippines: large size, secondary lags, low cycle completion, inequality, academic test performance, teacher development, public-private partnership, and education spending recovering (Sarvi et al., 2015). Hence, in 2010, the administration prioritized educational reform, and meticulously planned for the enactment of the Republic Act of 10,533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act (CHED, n, d). This educational reform is set not just to simply meet the global standards but to also assure that the next generation of graduates would be at par and on a level with the rest of the world.
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization or SEAMEO (2017) stated that K–12 holds a set of objectives: aligning the system with the international standard, refining the youth’s educational experience, and boosting the country’s competitiveness. Table 1 shows the specific objectives and corresponding features of the K–12 education system:
TABLE 1. Programs based on K–12 objectives.
The implementation of this program started in the year 2011 and the first batch of Senior High School students graduated by 2018. Figure 1 shows the yearly plan of the government and their targeted years for the new batch undergoing the K–12 system. Based on the plan, the universal Kindergarten started in 2011, while the Grade 7 and the new Grade 1 curriculum were implemented by the following year. In 2016, the first Senior High School program began and hence the first batch of Senior High School students graduated in the year 2018.
FIGURE 1. Interaction effect between involvement in innovation and teaching experience.
The Basic Education is now compulsory for all and is structured based on the following: Kindergarten or Early Childhood Education, 6 years of Elementary or Primary Education (Grade 1–6), 4 years of Secondary/Junior High School (Grade 7–10), and 2 years of Senior High School (Grade 11–12). After graduating from high school, students can opt to attend a Technical Vocational Education and Training Program (TVET) and/or Higher Education. Students can start Kindergarten from the age of 5 and are expected to enter their last year of Senior High School by the age of 17 (Sarvi et al., 2015).