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TOPIC: EFFECTS OF K-12 IMPLEMENTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES Where Does Philippine Education Go? The K to 12 Program and Reform of Philippine Basic Education

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In 2012 the Philippines launched its " K to 12 " Program, a comprehensive reform of its basic education. Through this reform, the Philippines is catching up with global standards in secondary education and is attaching a high value to
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   TOPIC: EFFECTS OF K-12 IMPLEMENTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES Where Does Philippine Education Go? The “K to 12” Program and Reform of Philippine Basic Education Abstract In 2012 the Philippines launched its “K to 12” Program, a comprehensive reform of its basic education. Through this reform, the Philippines is catching up with global standards in secondary education and is attaching a high value to kindergarten. The structure, curricula, and philosophy of the education system are undergoing reform and improvement. The key points of the new  policy are “preparation” for higher education, “eligibility” for entering domestic and overseas higher educational institutions, and i mmediate “employability” on graduating, all leading toward a “holistically developed Filipino”. This policy appears admirable and timely, but it faces some  pedagogical and socioeconomic problems. The author wants to point out in particular that the  policy needs to address gender problems and should be combined with demand-side approaches in order to promote poverty alleviation and human development in the Philippines. INTRODUCTION The Philippines has long been famous for its high level of education (Nakanishi 1990). After Spain colonized the islands, more than a few institutions of higher education were established1 (Tandora This paper is relevant in part to my presentation at IDE’s APL seminar dated  November 26, 2012. I am grateful for the then moderator Yuya Kudo, Microeconomic Research Studies Group, Development Studies Center, IDE-JETRO, and all the participants who gave me useful comments. And I am grateful to Yurika Suzuki, Southeast Asian Studies Group I, Area Studies Center, IDE-JETRO. Her 2011 paper and my later talks with her stimulated my thinking on this topic. Also I would like to express gratitude to Professor Mikiko Nishimura, International Christian University, who commented in the Practicum on Human Security at University of Tokyo on the topic of this paper. However, all errors and mistakes are mine, and I still need to make an empirical study. Needless to say, all views and ideas expressed herein are my own and do not reflect those of my affiliations 2003). During the 20th century under US rule, the Philippines absorbed the American system of formal education (Tandora 2003). Thereafter  enrolment in higher education was relatively high compared with other Southeast Asian countries. This trend seems to be continuing even in the 21st century. On the other hand, basic education in the Philippines has been a problem. As will be shown in the next section, access to  primary schools through the Education for All (EFA) policy has experienced a setback. At the same time access to and the level of enrolment in secondary education has remained almost the same. Other problems include the dropout rate and congested curricula as a result of the number of courses that schools must cram into their curricula in order to fulfill the mandated educational requirements. But along with the need to increase access to basic education, the Philippines also has to improve qualitatively or pedagogically what students learn. In 2012 the Philippine government declared the start of a fundamental overhaul of the country’s educa tional system under a policy called the “K to 12” Program. It is “the most comprehensive basic education reform initiative ever done in the country since the establishment of the public education system more than a century ago”2 (SEAMEO INNOTECH 2012: Mess age from the Department of Education). What content does this reform contain? Why is this reform the most comprehensive? What are the expectations for Philippine education? Since this reform program has just begun, it is not yet possible to answer these questions comprehensively. This paper will not seek to evaluate the reforms. Rather its purpose is to marshal the contents of the reform program and examine them from a development perspective in order to interpret the thoughts and ideals underlying the program. This paper is organized as follows. Section II examines the situation for access to basic education in the Philippines prior to the start of the “K to 12” Program. Without knowing that situation, we cannot examine the new policy. Section III briefly e xplains the “K to 12” Program, describing its key features and comparing it with the existing state of education. In section IV I seek to interpret the reform program from the perspectives of comparative education, pedagogy, and socio-economics. Here I focus especially on the globalization of education, on language as teaching medium, and on the effect of human development. Section V, the final section, discusses education and human development in the Philippines. Results Highlighting the Role of Secondary Education The Philippines has begun a fundamental overhaul of its educational system. Through introduction of the “K to 12” Program, the country is seeking to highlight basic education and overcome deficiencies in the system, such as low  student learning performance, congested curricula, and the shortness of secondary education, shortcomings that Filipino scholars have long pointed out.14 Of particular note in the new  program is the attention given to secondary education, the importance of which has long been ignored. (Lewin and Caillods 2001). Secondary education is the bridge between primary and tertiary education. Its importance is the role it plays in fostering higher learning. It prepares high school students for study in institutions of higher learning whose graduates play a central role in a modern industrialized society. But the role of secondary education goes beyond education. It is a period important in the formation of personality. Students in secondary school are in their adolescence and susceptible to influences from the external environment and other people. Knowledge, experiences, and memories that students acquire in this period influence their  personality. Thus enhancing and improving this stage of education and life is of particular importance, not only for economic development but also for fostering a population of socially and mentally healthy people. Conclusion The Philippine government’s project to overhaul the country’s public school educational system and its new “K to 12” Program are still at the introductory stage. It is too early to draw any conclusions on the many issues discussed in this paper. But the reform is an ambitious project, and this researcher along with many others interested in education and the economy will be observing to see how well the reform progresses and meets its objectives by 2018. The Philippine government’s project to overhaul the country’s public school educational system and its new “K to 12” Program are still at the introductory stage. It is too early to d raw any conclusions on the many issues discussed in this paper. But the reform is an ambitious project, and this researcher along with many others interested in education and the economy will be observing to see how well the reform progresses and meets its objectives by 2018. REFERENCES Balisacan, Arsenio M. 2003. The Philippine Economy: Development, Policies, and Challenges. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. Becker, Gary. S. 1964. Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education. Chicago: University of  Chicago Press, 3rd edition (1993). Caoli- Rodriguez, Rhona B. 2009. “Hard -pressed to achieve the EFA goals by 2015 in the Philippines.” Prospects 38, no. 3: 393–  99. Dore, Ronaldo. 1976. The Diploma Disease: Education, Qualification and Development. London: G. Allen and Unwin. Estudillo, Jonna. P.; Yasuyuki Sawada; and Keijiro Otsuka. 2008. “Poverty and Income Dynamics in Philippine Village 1985- 2004.” Review of Development Economics 12, no. 4. 877–  90. --------- . 2009. “Income Dynamics, Schooling Investment, and Poverty Reduction in Philippine Villages, 1985- 2004.” In Rural Poverty and Income Dynamics in Asia and Africa, edited by Otsuka Keijiro, Jonna P. Estudillo, and Sawada Yasuyuki. New York, Routledge. 22  – 46. Hanushek, Eric A. 2005. “Economic Outcomes and School Quality.” Education Policy Series 4. Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning and International Academy of Education. Hanushek, Eric A.; Dean T. Jamison; Eliot A. Jamison; and Ludger Woessmann. 2008. “Education and Economic Growth: It’s Not Just Going to School, but Learning Something while There That Matters.” Education Next, Spring, 62–  70. Le Borgne, Eric. 2009. Remittances and the Philippines' Economy: The Elephant in the Room. http://  blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/remittances-and-the-philippines-economy-the-elephantin-the-room (accessed July 28, 2013). Lewin, K. and F. Caillods. 2001. Financing Secondary Education in Developing Countries: Strategies for Sustainable Growth. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. IDE DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES NO. 425 29 Maluccio, John. 1998. “Endogeneity of Schooling in the Wage Function: Evidence from the Rural Philippines.” Discussion Paper no. 54, Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute. Mincer, Jacob. 1974. Schooling, Experience, and Earnings. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research. Nakanishi, Toru. 1990. “The Market in the Urban Informal Sector: A Case Study in Metro Manila, the Philippines.” Developing Economies 28, no. 3: 2 71  –  301. Nakanishi, Toru. 1991. Suramu no Keizaigaku : Firipin ni okeru Toshi Infōmaru Bumon (Economics of the Slum: the Urban Informal Sector in the Philippines) . Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). 2010. 2011 Philippine Statistical Year Book. Makati:  National Statistical Coordination Board. National Statistics Office (NSO). 2011. 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (Final Report). National Statistics Office, Republic of the Philippines. Psacharopoulos, Georg e, and Patrinos, Harry A. 2004. “Returns to Investment in Education: a Further Update.” Education Economics 12, no. 2, 111–34. Ricardo, D. Ma. Nolasco. 2008. “The Prospects of Multilingual Education and Literacy in the Philippines.” In The Paradox of  Philippine Education and Education Reform: Social Science Perspective, edited by Allan B.I. Bernado. Quezon City: Philippine Social Science Council, 133  –  45. IDE DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES NO. 425 30 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). 2012. K to 12 Toolkit: Reference Guide for Teacher Educators, School Administrators and Teachers. Quezon City: SEAMEO INNOTEC. Spring, Joel. 2009. Globalization of Education: An Introduction. New York: Routledge. Suzuki, Yurika. 2011. “Kiso Kyouiko wo 6 -4 Sei kara K-6-4- 2 Sei e” (“Changing Philippine Basic Education from 6 -4 System to K-6-4- 2 System”) http://www.ide.go.jp/Japanese/Publish/ Download/Overseas_report/1106_suzuki.html (accessed  November 20, 2012 and July 25, 2013). Tanodra, Elena Q. 2003. Philippine Educational System. Quezon City: Verh Educational Enterprise. World Bank. Various Years. World Development Indicator. http://data.worldbank.org/ data-catalog/world-development-indicators (accessed July 21, 2013).
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