Since the enactment of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, the administration has started the implementation of the K to 12 program. The first batch of K to 12 graduates is expected to graduate on March 2018. However, is there really a guarantee that graduates of senior high programs will be able to find a job or begin their own business?
K to 12 curriculum ensures senior high graduates are already job ready and prepare those who want to proceed on the higher education. All things considered, students who choose Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) track are the only one who would already be able to acquire employment after high school. Students in this track have an option for entrepreneurship, work or further education. While the students who picked other career tracks, for example, Academic Track still need to pursue higher studies to finish their education. For this situation, parents still need to spend more cash for the college course their children want to take in the future.
There is still no assurance that those who undergo K to 12 will be able to find job easily. Employers are not only looking for credentials, but they also look for experience. It would be nothing if they are incompetent. Tech-Voc students are bound for labor export and contractualization. Some countries do not have laws that protect OFWs. This indicates that they might be underestimated and be deprived of the benefits of a normal worker. Graduates can already build their own business as long as they have investments.
Additionally, there are still a lot of flaws of K to 12 program such as lack of facilities, equipments, qualified teachers and error-free textbooks in some schools. According to Philippine Daily inquirer, “Department of Education states that every additional year in the basic education system requires 20,000 to 28,000 public classrooms, translating to a 40,000-56,000 additional classroom shortage for the two-year Senior High School (SHS) program. As a result, the official classroom shortage, including the requirements for the K-to-12 program, will reach over 95,000.DepEd says the implementation of the SHS program will also require an additional 60,000 to 82,000 teachers. The K-to-12 program also requires the printing of a minimum of 60 million textbooks, since textbooks designed for the previous 10-year curriculum will be rendered obsolete.” We know that it is already a big risk when the government starts to implement the K to 12 curriculum. It’s like we entered a war without any armor.
On the contrary, K to 12 offers a lot of advantages and opportunities. From the past years, a lot of Filipinos struggle to practice their specialty in their fields abroad in the fact that they did not meet the country’s educational requirements. It likewise enables Filipinos to find a decent job inside or outside the country. K to 12 graduates will also receive high salary if they choose to work abroad considering our country’s education is equivalent to the global level. The unemployment rates will also drop since there will be a great deal of occupations that are eligible for high school graduates. K to 12 encourages Filipinos to be more equipped to their skills and talents and to be globally competitive.
There are a lot of things needed to be improved and the students are still adjusting on what the curriculum offers them. It needs a lot of studies and observation to establish what is suitable for Filipino students. What we need to do now is support K to 12 to make the implementation and result better. K to 12 might have its disadvantages however this may enable the Philippines to move forward with excellence.