Understanding Kto12 Philippines Initiative


When thinking of the Kto12 initiative, people or more or less, parents react like it was WAR. Seriously that is how it really happened during an FGD (Focused Group Discussions) I joined, initiated by the Coalition for Better Education for Kto12 consultations. Well, I was in the Kto12 YOUTH Sector but the neighbouring room/s were PARENTs on the left and Teachers on the right, but we didn't see each other, we just heard the INSANE loud voices and heated debates.

Some of the things shouted were: Why change when we have the best? Our Filipino Brothers and sisters abroad are already doing good! Don't fix it if it ain't broken? We can compare or at par with other countries, see our BPO Industry Boom? We are the only country that exports Human Resources, that is a testament of the WORLD CLASS ability of us FILIPINOS with the 10-year education system! We parents are already barely coping with school expenses and you want to add 2 years more?

Owwwkkaay...they do have a point, but here are some of my points as well:

  • Don't we want more than just to scrape to survive?
  • Don't we want to make our mark in the world?
  • We need to change our perception of World Class...seriously..
  • Don't we want to be employers of the world, instead of employees?
  • It's not an expense, but is more of an investment..ohhh and it's not really an additional 2 years :P it's 2 years + Kinder!
  • Don't we want a time where we no longer need to go out of our country but foreigners come to our to work for us?

Elementary, Highschool, College Students and a couple of random YUPPIES :P

Times change, we need 2 years more in our Philippine Educational System. For those against this, the immediate argument is cost, next is that "The Filipino is World Class" already with the existing Educational System, well here's a few reality checks, FYIs & FAQs to consider:
1.We are the remaining country in Asia having the 10 year system and that our graduates, when stepping foot in another country for work, may get accepted but won't get the treatment and proper wage they deserve because of the 10years; instead of being called engineers, most are degraded to 'technicians' unless they will add 2 more years in their education or take an assessment/state exam for proficiency which has its own cost of time and effort; same goes for nurses, doctors, scientists and the like.

2.This proposal is not new, the Philippines has been tackling this kto12 issue since 1925 (You can check this yourself since this are public documents with initiated bills that failed afterwards)..are you kidding me? Just imagine, if this was approved then, we could have become 1st world...oh wait that never happened

3.Are we satisfied with where we are? this is a step towards continuous improvement, don't we want to do more than scrape to survive? There is no perfect proposal or plan, and don't expect to be spoonfed everything as if we deserve this, our government has to do that..etc..we have to do our own share, our counterpart, if its cost, then why not coconut?


4.Food for thought-if our education system is OK, why are our freshmen students need around 1-2 year refresher (minor-basic) subjects in college compared to colleges/universities in other countries go directly to specialized subjects of their chosen courses?


5. If our education is OK, how come we have so many cases of Human Trafficking here, even in cebu?


6. If our education is OK, why is it that our college graduates who are ENGINEERS, DEGREE HOLDERS settle for menial jobs overseas as care givers, Janitors, domestic helpers?

7. Did you know, that this is for the long overdue improvement of the Public Education System that essentially does not have an institutionalized KINDER to begin with?; The whole program will be KINDER (Early Childhood care & dev't.{[nursery], Kinder 1&2)+elementary+junior+senior highschool)>>for anime fans, we will now have moments similar to the japanese manga? >_< HAHAHAHA let your imagination run wild!


8. Saying that 'we are not prepared' is just, well impractical..why? Well, from what I learned from Economics, we work with limited resources, therefore, in any initiative, program, disaster fund and the like, it (resources) is never enough, waiting for the right time, the right amount of money, resources and the like will never come, the right time is NOW!


Learned a lot from Dr. Erico Habunan from DepEd and Mr. Wadel Cabrera of Phil.Biz for Education
The new curriculum will 'decongest' the existing curriculum and also looking into customized technical-vocational skills highschool  based on their career aptitude as determined by the National Career Assessment Examination and also to local economies in different places as well (Because each of our regions have different micro-economies with their own corresponding related work force needs).

I asked a question during the forum whether or not if other NGAs (TESDA, CHED) are consulted or working with the development of the new curriculum and programs; they said YES!

The additional 2 years allow a maturity time for teens and even perhaps reducing activities linked to drug abuse, gambling, premarital sex and the like.


President Aquino has committed to classify the bill as priority and urgent bill to fast-track its approval in both houses. Although DepEd has started the implementation of kinder this school year in preparation of the new kto12 curriculum, a law is still needed for continuity and sustainability/permanence. Let's cross fingers that this gets passed by our congressmen and senators!

Things to look forward to (Unless your the typical pessimistic PINOY..):

  1. KINDER! Private Schools have these already but it's a good thing for Public Schools, studies show that this is the most critical learning development time for children
  2. Technical-Vocational Courses! I really enjoyed this during highschool and wanted more of it!
  3. Customization of Tech-Voc/Senior Highschool Curriculum to local socio-economic factors--this will address the gap between industry and academe; also skills/job mismatch and helps reduce unemployment rate
  4. More ALLOWANCE, experiences, mentors, frienemies and friends :D
  5. Entrepreneurship in highschool ~I'M JEALOUS pffftt!!! (They emphasized this over and over again~DepEd)
  6. Additional Subjects - although the priority is de-congestion, (when I asked this question, I sampled Stock market Investing) they are keeping an open mind; it's a balancing of not only DepEd's but also of TESDA and CHED's as well.
  7. Due to de-congestion of subjects in highschool, it is expected now that students are given enough time to absorb basic skills subjects (Such as math, english, Filipino, sciences..etc.); that simply mean one thing: SHORTER YEARS IN COLLEGE~OOOHHH YEAH! So if students want to go to college for higher education, then when stepping into college, they face some advanced basic subjects (if you're engineering, well you'll have to attack Integral and Differential Calculus/Equations, Advanced Mathematics..etc.) and directly face MAJOR MAJOR Subjects probably around 1st year 2nd sem :D

Lastly, just like any other projects, or programs, this won't be easy for our government, all the more for us..but whoever said that it was easy? the road to success never is..


Photo Credit: CBE - Coalition for Better Education (Like 'em on Facebook!)

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Vernon Joseph Go is Industrial Engineer, Blogger, PMO Associate, Social Media Advocate, & Frustrated Entrepreneur exploring both the business and internet world with big plans and great enthusiasm. Subscribe to my blog via Email HERE!