12 Years of Elementary and Secondary Education

K to 12 was formed through the collaborative efforts of DepEd, CHED, TESDA, private sector, civil society organizations, associations of public and private schools, Senate, House of Representatives, PTAs, teacher’s organization, student organizations and other individuals.

K to 12 means Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondary education. Based from the Table of Comparative Data on Duration of Basic and Pre-University Education in Asia, Philippines is the only country in Asia and one of the three remaining countries in the world that has a 10- year basic education cycle.
This school year, the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program (BEC) in the Philippines has officially started. The Aquino administration initiated the new system of education.

In K to 12 programs, a 5-year old child will undergo a standardized Kindergarten curriculum. Elementary schooling follows which will end after 6 years. Next is the secondary education wherein the student will enter junior high school and will spend 4 years. This is now called Grades 7-10. Another 2 years is required in senior high school. It is called Grades 11-12. The availability of educational resources is a problem here. For public schools, problems will include lack of classrooms, chairs and textbooks and lack of qualified teachers and other needed facilities. School systems in our country are not yet completed. Last year, 67% of High School students got low score in the National Achievement Test (NAT). Only 1.13 percent scored with in the upper ranges. This inferred that the quality of education may not guarantee an improvement to NAT. The government should conduct accurate reassessment of the country’s education policies. An enhanced curriculum instead will help the students master their competencies. K+12 education will equip students with standard vocational skills that will prepare them for work. A K to 12 graduate will now be recognized abroad.

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