A January 13, 2012 press release from the Department of Education
Enjoyable, easily understood lessons using the language spoken at home, less contact time, and interactive.
These are just some of the features of the new curriculum for Grade 1 and first year high school students that the Department of Education will implement starting June 2012 under the K to 12 basic education reform program.
Secretary of Education Brother Armin A. Luistro FSC said the new curriculum is centered more on the students rather on the traditional way of teaching, which is focused on the teacher. “We are making it a real learning experience for the students, meaning, it will be less on memorization but more encouraging of critical thinking,” he added.
It helps that the new K to 12 curriculum will implement the mother tongue-based multi-lingual education (MTB-MLE) in studying lessons from Kinder up to Grade 3. Studies have shown that students learn better when the language used at home is the same language used in discussing class lessons. DepEd is already piloting MTB-MLE in various schools nationwide using eight major regional dialects.
DepEd’s move is part of the education reform program under the Aquino administration which seeks to produce high school graduates who are equipped with skills for the world of work, have better needed competencies for college education and ready for global opportunities.
Under the K to 12 program, the public school system will have kinder (which started in School Year 2011), six years in elementary, four years in junior high school, and two more years for senior high school where students will have more time to sharpen their employable skills.
The new curriculum for Grade 1 will only require pupils to go to school for half a day.
“From six hours contact time everyday, we will reduce it to four hours to make education less stressful and more enjoyable for our young learners,” Luistro said.
Luistro stressed that schooling should be enjoyable. “It is important that our learners develop that natural love for learning and not feel that it is something imposed on them.”
On the other hand, the first year high school curriculum will be more interactive and relevant in everyday life. Science teaching, for example, will be based on its practical use.
“As students go up the ladder, we want them to learn skills that are being demanded by employers while at the same time giving them the chance to appreciate and enjoy the lessons,” Luistro said.