K+12 Basic Education Program… New Challenges
By Emily G. Petito on Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013

            Some of us get tired of hearing the term K+12 Basic Education Program of Department of Education. Others are informed through the use of diverse media like news on television, article from newspaper, announcements on radio, and also data coming from the school.  But despite this flood of information, many of us do not fully comprehend what this new education curriculum means. Questions arise on our thoughts concerning this matter. What does K+12 program really mean? How will the program be implemented? What would be the assurance that K+12 programs will work? Is the teacher ready for this new curriculum? Does the government allot sufficient budget in education to support K+12 programs? These are just few from many queries we wanted to know.

            The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. K to 12 starts with Universal Kindergarten which mandates all public elementary schools to offer kindergarten class and accept 5-year old learners beginning 2011. It is followed by six years of Elementary, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School where students will pursue their preferred career track depending on their skills and inclination. Some salient features of this new program are Strengthening Early Childhood Education which is focused on the Universal Kindergarten, Making the Curriculum Relevant to Learners which centered on Contextualization and Enhancement, Building Proficiency through Language which is the well-known Mother Tongue-Base Multilingual Education, Gearing up for the Future, and Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino which addressed on the readiness in 21st Century skills.These are just the few explanations regarding on K+12 curriculums.

            When the school year opened, some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school. But in contrast, some may also feel excited and happy because of all the new things too: new bags, new school supplies, new shoes, new uniforms, and also excited on their allowances.  But this time, teachers are also excited yet a little bit nervous on this new beginning. In this remarkable year of K to 12 programs, teachers are getting anxious because of the challenges they are expecting in the implementation of this curriculum. As a teacher, it is our role to make or prepare springboard in our daily lesson. It is our obligation to settle everything before we enter the four corners of our room. As K to 12 program hits us, it is our task to jive with the changes regarding on this matter. It is time for us to innovate something new that can pass on the “taste” of this curriculum.

            Teachers are now facing new challenges in teaching, challenges that proved the innovative characteristic of a competent teacher, challenges that play not as a hindrance but rather as an armor to improve one’s self.  Let us not face these challenges negatively, let us use this changes into our motivation. Let’s motivate ourselves that we are professional, we are qualified in implementing this new program. Let us help each other in achieving the knowledge, skills, and unshakable confidence to thrive in a vital environment. We are teachers who can surpass everyday challenges.