K to 12 Program ‘Congestion’ Prompts DepEd to Introduce K to 10 Curriculum with GMRC, Makabayan, Stronger Peace Education

K to 10 Curriculum “designed to help improve the learning outcomes of our children and help them succeed in life.”

— Vice President & Education Secretary Inday Sara Duterte

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Credit for all photographs: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)
  • EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News

(SDN) — Vice President and Education Secretary Inday Sara Duterte on Thursday, 10th August 2023, spearheaded the launch of MATATAG K to 10 Curriculum, aimed at making teaching and learning easier for teachers and learners.

The MATATAG Curriculum, which does not replace the K to 12 Program, is the result of an “extensive and painstaking” review of the K to 12 that started in the time of the then Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor M. Briones.

Good manners and right conduct (GMRC), Makabansa, and Peace Education are now integrated with the new curriculum crafted by educators both from public and private sectors.

In her speech at the launch held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, Metro Manila, the Vice President noted Filipino learners’ much-to-be desired showing. DepEd started implementing K to 12 in 2013, and this year’s batch of college graduates will be its pioneers.

“The past years showed us the alarmingly poor performance of Filipino learners in national and international assessment tests. This brought to light questions on the effectiveness of the K to 12 curriculum,” she pointed out.

Congestion of too many subjects or lessons

Duterte said the curriculum presently being taught required instructors an excessive number of learning competencies — with very limited time available for instruction, resulting in overburdened teachers and learners brought on by lessons and other school tasks and activities.

“The result was devastating for our learners. It compromised their mastery of fundamental skills and solving simple math problems. These issues, along with other existing factors and conditions, contributed to our learning losses,” the education chief emphasized.

She pointed out the need to go through necessary revisions of the curriculum to prevent more learning losses.

“And today, we are happy to announce the completion of the K to 10 Curriculum. And we are also happy to announce that today, we officially launch the K to 10 Curriculum, and we will call this — the MATATAG Curriculum,” the DepEd secretary said. (In English, “matatag” means stable, firm, or strong).

She described the K to 12 curriculum’s review during the administration of her father, the then President Rodrigo R. Duterte (2016-2022), as “an extensive and painstaking process” which required education stakeholders’ collaboration.

The Vice President noted the K to 10 has now a reduced number of competencies and that DepEd will give heightened stress on learners’ “foundational skills” that include literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills for learners from Kindergarten to Grade 3.

Secretary Duterte cited the integration of GMRC in fulfillment of Republic Act 11476 (the GMRC and Values Education Act of 2020); better articulation of 21st-century skills; and what she said is the K to 10 feature that “holds a very special place in my heart” — Peace Education.

“The new K to 10 Curriculum will integrate peace competencies — highlighting the promotion of non-violent actions and the development of conflict resolution skills in learners,” the DepEd head emphasized. “For after all, there is security, there is peace.”

Director Jocelyn D.R. Andaya, Bureau of Curriculum Development (DepEd-BCD), brought to light the K to 10 Curriculum through an exhaustive presentation.

She revealed that 70 percent of the K to 12 competencies were excised from K to 10, “simply because there are competencies that repeat; there are competencies that are only nice to know but not a must to know. That’s why we came up with essential learning competencies.”

Andaya emphasized that these competencies would be the ones that learners will bring to the next grade level even if they were already finished with the lower level. “A learner will not forget it because this is the competency that he/she has.”

“And, therefore, for instance, if in Grade 2 they are able to know additional multiplication, in Grade 3 they are able to use that as framework for the learning of other complex mathematical skills. So, that is the reason why we decongested the (K to 12) curriculum by subtraction of the curriculum which we said was not important in what learners should learn about in this particular grade level,” said Andaya.

As gleaned from her presentation, K to 10 Curriculum will have a phased implementation as follows: School Year (SY) 2024-2025 — Kinder, Grade 1, Grade 4, Grade 7; SY 2025-2026 — Grade 2, Grade 5, Grade 8; SY 2026-2027 — Grade 3, Grade 6, Grade 9; SY 2027-2029 — Grade 10.

Its implementation will draw from Pilot Implementation, Capacity Building, Learning Resources, Senior High School Revision, and Stakeholder Support.

MATATAG K to 10 Curriculum is DepEd’s heart

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching Gina O. Gonong said K to 10 will be put to a pilot test in the National Capital Region (NCR); Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. She added the number of schools for the pilot implementation has not yet been determined.

“We have divided the curriculum into key stages so that at the end of each key stage we know that all those who underwent Kindergarten, Grades 1 to 3, are able to attain the standards. What this means is the students understand and know what to do with what they know and they are able to do this in other ways,” the DepEd official said.

They are Key Stage 1 (Grades 1 to 3); Key Stage 2 (Grades 3 to 6); and Key Stage 3 (Grades 7 to 10),” Gonong said.

Vice President Duterte, meanwhile, mentioned in her speech that K to 10’s component that covers Senior High School is still under review.

She emphasized the MATATAG K to 10 Curriculum “is designed to help improve the learning outcomes of our children and help them succeed in life”.

The Vice President expressed the DepEd’s optimism the new curriculum “will provide Filipino children “with a meaningful learning experience” that boosts their intelligence, improves their knowledge, enhances their skills and talents, and prepares them to become well-rounded, mature individuals.

She thanked all those shared their time, resources, knowledge, and expertise to DepEd’s efforts “to bring about the most needed reforms in Basic Education and improve the learning efficiency of our children.”

Secretary Duterte emphasized that the new curriculum “is a labor of love between DepEd and international and local academics, the private sector, government agencies, education stakeholders.”

The DepEd secretary added, “The entire Department is grateful to know that we are not alone in our mission. Your role and contributions are greatly valued. You are deeply valued.”

Gonong received a warm mention from the DepEd chief, who said she was responsible for her undersecretary’s spiked blood pressure. The Vice President deviated from her written speech, obviousl drawing from heart when she profusely thanked Gonong and the rest of the DepEd team who crafted the K to 10 Curriculum. She received warm applause for publicly opening up her heart.

Vice President Duterte said the MATATAG K to 10 Curriculum “is now at the heart of the Department of Education”. (✓)

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