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Monday, October 15, 2012

K-12 for Private Schools

In the middle of the year, I was lucky to have joined a small group discussion organized by OC Mom in Manila with representatives from the Department of Education.  Burning in our minds would be the implementation of the K-12 curriculum.  The meeting was held in SM North Edsa's The Block because of the ongoing DepEd GO! (Greater Opportunities) interactive exhibit to launch its K-12 Basic Education Curriculum information campaign.

I went through the exhibit but it was focused on public schools which had a standard implementation.  I had several questions for DepEd, particularly on the simultaneous implementation.  You see, N asked me a very valid question.  Her cousin, J, turned 7 in May 2012.  Meanwhile, her friend K (incidentally, Next9's son) was also 7 (turned 7 in December 2011).  However, J was in Grade 1, while K was in Grade 3.  Both boys go to exclusive boys' schools albeit colors apart ;)

N was wondering why the 2 boys were at different grade levels when they were both 7 years old. I was embarrassed to say that I could not answer her question!  Happily, because of the discussion group organized by Kris, I was able to talk to Elvin Uy, the DepEd Coordinator for the K-12 program.  He shared this with me:
"From SY 2012 to SY 2015, private schools do have significant latitude in implementing various schemes based on the specific system they employ today and their respective curriculum. Note too that the private school students who are affected are the ones who were in elementary and in kindergarten at age 6 last school year. The 2nd slide shows why the transition of private schools isn't uniform unlike that of the public school system: private schools have varying basic education cycles and curricular content.
Changing these component will take more than a year even though to a casual observer, it might seem that schools do transition in a single SY and that's that. In reality, private school adjustments and/or 're-calibration' take about 2-3 years, and that's precisely the time they have left before completing senior high becomes a prerequisite for college admission in 2016."

As I assumed, private schools are given the leeway until 2015 on how to implement the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum.  Hence, J's school has not yet started its K-12 transition accounting for his being in Grade 1 at 7 years old.  Meanwhile, K's school has started their implementation which is why K has been accelerated to Grade 3.  However beginning 2016 onwards, the curriculum must be standard across schools.  

From now until 2016, when you choose a big school for your child, make sure that it is for keeps.  As it is, transferring from one school to another is no easy task.  Until the implementation will be standard among all private schools, it will even be more difficult to transfer your child from one school to another, as s/he may be left behind by a whole year, depending on whether the school has already implemented the K-12 program.

Has your child's school implemented the K-12 program?  Do check out the Philippine government's FAQ on the K-12 curriculum

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