The K to 12 Basic Education Program

Naninindigan pa rin po tayo sa ipinangako nating pagbabago sa edukasyon: ang gawin itong sentral na estratehiya sa pamumuhunan sa pinakamahalaga nating yaman: ang mamamayang Pilipino. Sa K to 12, tiwala tayong mabibigyang-lakas si Juan dela Cruz upang mapaunlad—hindi lamang ang kanyang sarili at pamilya—kundi maging ang buong bansa. – Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III


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.



Strengthening Early Childhood Education (Universal Kindergarten)

Making the Curriculum Relevant to Learners (Contextualization and Enhancement)

Ensuring Integrated and Seamless Learning (Spiral Progression)

Building Proficiency through Language (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education)

Gearing Up for the Future (Senior High School)

Nurturing the Holistically Developed Filipino (College and Livelihood Readiness, let Century Skills)

Strengthening Early Childhood Education (Universal Kindergarten)

Every Filipino child now has access to early childhood education through Universal Kindergarten. At 5 years old, children start schooling and are given the means to slowly adjust to formal education.

Research shows that children who underwent Kindergarten have better completion rates than those who did not. Children who complete a standards-based Kindergarten program are better prepared, for primary education.

Education for children in the early years lays the foundation for lifelong learning and for the total development of a child. The early years of a human being, from 0 to 6 years, are the most critical period when the brain grows to at least 60-70 percent of adult size..[Ref: K to 12 Toolkit]

In Kindergarten, students learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors through games, songs, and dances, in their Mother Tongue.

Making the Curriculum Relevant to Learners (Contextualization and Enhancement)

Examples, activities, songs, poems, stories, and illustrations are based on local culture, history, and reality. This makes the lessons relevant to the learners and easy to understand.

Students acquire in-depth knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes through continuity and consistency across all levels and subjects.

Discussions on issues such as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Climate Change Adaptation, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) are included in the enhanced curriculum.

Building Proficiency through Language (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education)

Students are able to learn best through their first language, their Mother Tongue (MT). Twelve (12) MT languages have been introduced for SY 2012-2013: Bahasa Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, and Waray. Other local languages will be added in succeeding school years.

Aside from the Mother Tongue, English and Filipino are taught as subjects starting Grade 1, with a focus on oral fluency. From Grades 4 to 6, English and Filipino are gradually introduced as languages of instruction. Both will become primary languages of instruction in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS).

After Grade 1, every student can read in his or her Mother Tongue. Learning in Mother Tongue also serves as the foundation for students to learn Filipino and English easily.

Ensuring Integrated and Seamless Learning (Spiral Progression)

Subjects are taught from the simplest concepts to more complicated concepts through grade levels in spiral progression. As early as elementary, students gain knowledge in areas such as Biology, Geometry, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Algebra. This ensures a mastery of knowledge and skills after each level.

For example, currently in High School, Biology is taught in 2nd Year, Chemistry in 3rd Year, and Physics in 4th Year. In K to 12, these subjects are connected and integrated from Grades 7 to 10. This same method is used in other Learning Areas like Math.

Gearing Up for the Future (Senior High School)

Senior High School is two years of specialized upper secondary education; students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. SHS subjects fall under either the Core Curriculum or specific Tracks.


There are seven Learning Areas under the Core Curriculum. These are Languages, Literature, Communication, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Current content from some General Education subjects are embedded in the SHS curriculum.


Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Students undergo immersion, which may include earn-while-you-learn opportunities, to provide them relevant exposure and actual experience in their chosen track.


After finishing Grade 10, a student can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or a National Certificate Level I (NC I). After finishing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided he/she passes the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

NC I and NC II improves employability of graduates in fields like Agriculture, Electronics, and Trade.


In SY 2012-2013, there are 33 public high schools, public technical-vocational high schools, and higher education institutions (HEIs) that have implemented Grade 11. This is a Research and Design (R&D) program to simulate different aspects of Senior High School in preparation for full nationwide implementation in SY 2016-2017. Modeling programs offered by these schools are based on students’ interests, community needs, and their respective capacities.


After going through Kindergarten, the enhanced Elementary and Junior High curriculum, and a specialized Senior High program, every K to 12 graduate will be ready to go into different paths – may it be further education, employment, or entrepreneurship.

Every graduate will be equipped with:

  1. Information, media and technology skills,
  2. Learning and innovation skills,
  3. Effective communication skills, and
  4. Life and career skills.




The Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF) draws from the goals of the K to 12 Philippine Basic Education Curriculum Framework and adopts the general principles of the National Early Learning Framework (NELF). Kindergarten learners need to have a smooth transition to the content-based curriculum of Grades 1 to 12.

Download Curriculum Guide


Students in Grades 1 to 10 will experience an enhanced, context-based, and spiral progression learning curriculum with the following subjects:



SENIOR HIGH (Grades 11-12)

Senior High School is two years of specialized upper secondary education; students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12. Each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Core curriculum subjects

There are seven Learning Areas under the Core Curriculum: Languages, Literature, Communication, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

  • Oral comunication
  • Reading and writing
  • Komunikasyon at pananaliksik sa wika at kulturang Filipino
  • 21st century literature from the Philippines and the world
  • Contemporary Philippine arts from the regions
  • Media and information literacy
  • General mathematics
  • Statistics and probability
  • Earth and life science
  • Physical science
  • Introduction to philosophy of the human person/Pambungad sa pilosopiya ng tao
  • Physical education and health
  • Personal development/pansariling kaunlaran
  • Earth science (instead of Earth and life science for those in the STEM strand)
  • Disaster readiness and risk reduction (taken instead of Physical science for those in the STEM strand)
Applied track subjects
  • English for academic and professional purposes
  • Practical research 1
  • Practical research 2
  • Filipino sa piling larangan
    • Akademik
    • Isports
    • Sining
    • Tech-voc
  • Empowerment technologies (for the strand)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Inquiries, investigatories, and immersion
Specialized subjects
  • Accountancy, business, and and management strand
  • Humanities and social sciences strand
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics strand
  • General academic strand




Program implementation in public schools is being done in phases starting SY 2012–2013. Grade 1 entrants in SY 2012–2013 are the first batch to fully undergo the program, and current 1st year Junior High School students (or Grade 7) are the first to undergo the enhanced secondary education program. To facilitate the transition from the existing 10-year basic education to 12 years, DepEd is also implementing the SHS and SHS Modeling.



Private schools craft their transition plans based on: (1) current/previous entry ages for Grade 1 and final year of Kinder, (2) duration of program , and most importantly, (3) content of curriculum offered.


Classrooms 66,800 86,478 constructed classrooms as of February 2015 41,728 classrooms for Kinder to Grade 12

30,000 of which are for Senior High School (Grades 11 and 12)
Teacher Items 145,827 128,105 teachers hired as of December 31, 2014 39,066 additional teacher items
Water and Sanitation 135,847 80,197 completed
23,414 ongoing construction
43,536 ongoing procurement as of May 2014
13,586 programmed for 2015
Textbooks 61.7M 1:1 student-textbook ratio since December 2012 69.5 million additional learning materials
Seats 2,573,212 1:1 student-school seat ratio since December 2012 1,547,531 additional new seats


What is the K to 12 Program?

The K to 12 Program covers 13 years of basic education with the following key stages:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 10 (Junior High School)
  • Grades 11 and 12 (Senior High School)

Why are we now implementing 13 years of basic education?

  • The Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle (Angola and Djibouti are the other two).
  • A 13-year program is found to be the best period for learning under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.

What has been done to get ready for K to 12? Are we really ready for K to 12?

  • SY 2011-2012: Universal Kindergarten implementation begins
  • SY 2012-2013: Enhanced curriculum for Grades 1-7 implemented
  • 2013: K to 12 enacted into Law
  • 2014: Curriculum for Grades 11-12 finished

This 2015, we are getting ready for the implementation of Senior High School (SHS) in SY 2016-2017

We are on the fifth year of the implementation of the K to 12 Program. Our last mile is the Senior High School. All 221 divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd) have finished planning and have figures on enrolment a year in advance. These plans were reviewed by a separate team and finalized upon consultation with other stakeholders.

  • Classrooms: DepEd has built 66,813 classrooms from 2010 to 2013. There are 33,608 classrooms completed and undergoing construction in 2014. As of DepEd is planning to establish 5,899 Senior High Schools nationwide. As of June 22, 2015, DepEd has issued provisional permits to 2,847 private schools set to offer Senior High School in 2016.
  • Teachers: From 2010-2014, DepEd has filled 128,105 new teacher items. DepEd is targeting two kinds of teachers: those who will teach the core subjects, and those who will teach the specialized subjects per track. DepEd will hire 37,000 teachers for Senior High School for 2016 alone.
  • Textbooks: Learning materials are being produced for elementary to junior high while textbooks for Senior High School (which has specialized subjects) are being bid out.
  • Curriculum: The K to 12 curriculum is standards- and competence-based. It is inclusive and built around the needs of the learners and the community. The curriculum is done and is available on the DepEd website. It is the first time in history that the entire curriculum is digitized and made accessible to the public.

Private SHS: There are 2,847 private schools cleared to offer Senior High School as of June 22, 2015.

How will the current curriculum be affected by K to 12? What subjects will be added and removed?

  • The current curriculum has been enhanced for K to 12 and now gives more focus to allow mastery of learning.
  • For the new Senior High School grades (Grades 11 and 12), core subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Language will be strengthened. Specializations or tracks in students’ areas of interest will also be offered.
  • Changes to specific subjects are detailed in the K to 12 Curriculum Guides, viewable and downloadable at

How will schools implementing special curricular programs such as science high schools, high schools for the arts, and technical vocational schools be affected by K to 12?

Schools with special curricular programs will implement enriched curriculums specific to their program (e.g. science, arts) following the K to 12 standards.

How will multi-grade teaching be affected by K to 12?

Multi-grade teaching will continue and will use the K to 12 Curriculum.

How will specific learning groups such as indigenous people, Muslim learners, and people with special needs be affected by K to 12?

The K to 12 Curriculum was designed to address diverse learner needs, and may be adapted to fit specific learner groups.

Under K to 12, will Kindergarten be a pre-requisite for entering Grade 1?

Yes. Republic Act No. 10157, or the Kindergarten Education Act, institutionalizes Kindergarten as part of the basic education system and is a pre-requisite for admission to Grade 1.

With K to 12, will there be an overlap between the Day Care program of Local Government Units (LGUs) and DepEd Kindergarten?

No. Day Care Centers of LGUs take care of children aged 4 or below, while the DepEd Kindergarten program is intended for children who are at least 5 years old by October 31st of the present school year.

With K to 12, should schools prepare permanent records for Kindergarten students?

Yes. While the assessment on readiness skills of students in Kindergarten is not academically driven, a good measure of the child’s ability to cope with formal schooling is needed for future learning interventions.

Who is in charge of Kindergarten teacher compensation?

DepEd is the main agency that employs and pays Kindergarten teachers in public schools. However, there are LGUs that help in the Kindergarten program and provide honoraria for additional Kindergarten teachers in public schools.

Which Mother Tongue will be used as the language of instruction in multi-cultural areas?

The principle of MTB-MLE is to use the language that learners are most comfortable and familiar with; therefore, the common language in the area or lingua franca shall be used as the language of instruction

Will Mother Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) include other languages in the future?

Languages other than the 19 current mother tongues (Bahasa Sug, Bikol, Cebuano, Chabacano, Hiligaynon, Iloko, Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan, Meranao, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray, Ybanag, Ivatan, Sambal, Akianon, Kinaray-a, Yakan, and Surigaonon.)

What is Senior High School?

Senior High School (SHS) covers the last two years of the K to 12 program and includes Grades 11 and 12. In SHS, students will go through a core curriculum and subjects under a track of their choice.

Will SHS mean two more years of High School?

Yes. These two additional years will equip learners with skills that will better prepare them for the future, whether it be:

  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Skills Development (Further Tech-Voc training)
  • Higher Education (College)

How will students choose their Senior High School specializations?

Students will undergo assessments to determine their strengths and interests. These will include an aptitude test, a career assessment exam, and an occupational interest inventory for high schools. Career advocacy activities will also be conducted to help guide students in choosing their specialization or track.

How will student specializations/tracks be distributed across Senior High Schools?

Specializations or tracks to be offered will be distributed according to the resources available in the area, the needs and interests of most students, and the opportunities and demands of the community.

Will SHS ensure employment for me?

SHS creates the following opportunities:

  • Standard requirements will be applied to make sure graduates know enough to be hirable.
  • You will now be able to apply for TESDA Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) to provide you with better work opportunities.
  • Partnerships with different companies will be offered for technical and vocational courses.
  • You can now get work experience while studying; and companies can even hire you after you graduate.

Entrepreneurship courses will now be included. Instead of being employed, you can choose to start your own business after graduating, or choose to further your education by going to college.

How will SHS affect my college education?

  • SHS, as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with the curriculum of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) – the governing body for college and university education in the Philippines.
  • This ensures that by the time you graduate from Senior High School, you will have the standard knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to go to college.

Is SHS really necessary? Must I go to SHS?

Yes, according to the law. Beginning SY 2016-2017, you must go through Grades 11 and 12 to graduate from High School.

If I choose not to go to SHS, what happens to me?

You will be a grade 10 completer, but not a high school graduate. Elementary graduates are those who finish grade 6; high school graduates must have finished grade 12.

What will I learn in SHS that the current high school curriculum doesn’t include?

Senior High School covers eight learning areas as part of its core curriculum, and adds specific tracks (similar to college courses) based on four disciplines:

  • Academic (which includes Business, Science & Engineering, Humanities & Social Science, and a General Academic strand)
  • Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (with highly specialized subjects with TESDA qualifications)
  • Sports
  • Arts & Design

SHS Students may pick a track based on how he or she will want to proceed after high school graduation. You can learn more about the tracks and strands (as well as their curriculum) on

Where will Senior High School be implemented? Will my school offer SHS?

  • Existing public and private schools, including colleges, universities and technical institutions may offer Senior High School.
  • There may also be stand-alone Senior High Schools established by DepEd or private organizations.

Can a private school offer Senior High School before SY 2016-2017?

Private schools may offer Grade 11 as early as SY 2015-2016 to interested students. However, Senior High School before SY 2016-2017 is voluntary for both private schools and students, and there will be no funding assistance from the government to private Senior High School before SY 2016-2017.

Will SHS modelling schools that implemented the SHS program in SY 2012-13 be allowed to implement the SHS Program?

SHS modelling schools listed in DepEd Order No. 71, s. 2013 may implement the SHS program, but they must go through the process of applying a provisional SHS permit, and must meet the standards and requirements for the SHS Program.

Which private institutions are allowed to offer Senior High School?

  • All schools and organizations must first apply for a permit from DepEd. Different institutions may also partner with each other and apply for SHS as a group.
  • Temporary permits will be issued by DepEd for those who meet the requirements for the Senior High School Program.
  • There are 334 private schools with SHS permits beginning in SY 2014 or 2015. Last March 31, 2015, provisional permits have been issued to 1,122 private schools that will offer Senior High School in 2016.
  • If you are interested in applying for a Senior High School permit, please visit:

What other information should applicants remember in applying for a SHS permit?

  • All applications must only be submitted via email to [email protected]
  • Applications must contain the requirements detailed in DepEd Memo No. 4, series of 2014, viewable at Only applications with complete documentary requirements will be processed by the SHS-NTF on a first come-first served basis. Submission of letters of intent only will not be processed.
  • The proposed SHS Curriculum consistent with the final SHS Curriculum issued by DepEd must be submitted upon application.

Who receives, evaluates and approves the applications for provisional SHS permits? Who issues the permits?

  • The SHS-National Task Force (SHS-NTF) will receive applications from interested parties, establish the process and criteria in evaluating selected applicants, and evaluate the SHS applications of non-DepEd schools.
  • Regional Offices will be deputized to conduct on-site validation for all applicants. The on-site validation will focus on the provision of SHS requirements for the proposed track/strand, and will certify that a school exhibits the necessary SHS requirements to implement the program.
  • The DepEd Secretary approves applications for the SHS Program and issues provisional permits to applicants upon the recommendation of the Undersecretary for Programs and Projects.
  • The Regional Office releases the provisional permit to the applicant.

Will the additional two years of High School mean additional expenses?

Not necessarily.

  • Senior High School “completes” basic education by making sure that the high school graduate is equipped for work, entrepreneurship, or higher education. This is a step up from the 10-year cycle where high school graduates still need further education (and expenses) to be ready for the world.
  • SHS will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher program in place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries of private high schools should they choose to take SHS in private institutions.
  • This means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need not be completely shouldered by parents.

Where can I find out more about SHS?

You can find out more at You can also ask your school administration (public or private) to contact the DepEd division office to help organize an orientation seminar.

What is the Voucher Program?

  • This program enables Grade 10 completers from public and private Junior High Schools (JHS) to enroll in a (1) private high school, (2) private university or college, (3) state or local university or college, or (4) technical-vocational school, which will offer the Senior High School program starting School Year 2016-2017.
  • Through the Voucher Program, students and their families are able to exercise greater choice in deciding the Senior High School program that is most relevant to their needs and career goals. A certain amount will be subsidized by DepEd to private SHS to offset the cost of tuition.

Who will benefit from the Voucher Program? Can I apply?

  • All JHS completers from public junior high schools are qualified to receive the full voucher values.
  • Private junior high school completers who are on Education Service Contracting (ESC) grants will receive 80% of the full voucher value.
  • JHS completers from private schools and non-DepEd schools can also apply for vouchers worth 80% of the full voucher value.
  • Students will be notified of their eligibility prior to completing Grade 10. No monetary value is given to the student directly instead the subsidy is remitted to the Senior High School where he/she will enroll.

How much is the value of the voucher?

The actual amount of the vouchers will depend on the location of the SHS where the student will enroll.

  • JHS completers who will enroll in a SHS located in the National Capital Region (NCR) will receive a full voucher value of PhP 22,500.
  • JHS completers who will enroll in a SHS located in Non-NCR Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs) will receive a full voucher value of PhP 20,000. These cities include Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, Davao City, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo City, Lapu-lapu, Lucena, Mandaue, Olongapo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, and Zamboanga City.
  • JHS completers who will enroll in a SHS located in other cities and municipalities will have a full voucher value of PhP 17,500.

The voucher must be used in the school year immediately following the year of JHS completion. A voucher recipient may only be able to avail of the voucher subsidy for two (2) successive years.

Non-DepEd schools may charge tuitions that are higher than the voucher subsidy amounts. Students and parents are expected to cover the difference between the tuition fee charged by the school and the voucher subsidy from government.

What are the advantages of the Voucher Program?

  • For Students
    The voucher program can provide high-quality education for all types of students. Even those who normally do not have the financial means will be able to choose from different schools. They will not be limited to the schools that are provided by the DepEd.
  • For Private Schools
    Private schools with SHS will be able to tap into an expanded market — students from public junior high schools

But are we really sure that it will work in the Philippine education system?

In SY 2012-2013, DepEd tested the SHS program to over 10,000 students in a total of 56 schools around the Philippines. The results of this modelling program, including best practices and learning experiences of students, have influenced the creation of the current SHS curriculum.

How can I help improve basic education?

  • Private partners can donate through the Adopt-A-School program. A 150% tax incentive will be provided for every contribution.
  • Help spread awareness and information on the K to 12 Program.

How will SHS Affect me? Will I lose my Job?

  • No high school teachers will be displaced
  • The Department of Education (DepEd) is in constant coordination with CHED and DOLE on the actual number of affected faculty from private higher education institutions (HEIs). The worst-case scenario is that 39,000 HEI faculty will lose their jobs over 5 years. This will only happen if none of the HEIs will put up their own Senior High Schools, which is since we are currently processing over 1,000 SHS applications from private institutions.
  • DepEd is also hiring more than 30,000 new teachers in 2016 alone. The Department will prioritize affected faculty who will apply as teachers or administrators in our SHS.

I am a graduate of a science/math/engineering/course. Can I apply as an SHS teacher?

  • If you are willing to teach on a part-time basis, you will not be required to take and pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).
  • If you want a permanent position, you will need to take and pass the LET within five years after your date of hiring to remain employed full-time.

I am a hired TVI course graduate/HEI faculty/practitioner. Can I apply as an SHS teacher?

  • Graduates of technical-vocational courses must have the necessary certification issued by TESDA and undergo training to be administered by DepEd or HEIs.
  • Faculty of colleges and universities must be full-time professors and be holders of a relevant Bachelor’s degree.
  • DepEd and private schools may also hire practitioners with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by the K to 12 Program as part-time teachers.

*Faculty of TVIs and HEIs will be given priority in hiring for the transition period from September 2013 until SY 2021-2022.

I am a practitioner. Can I apply as an SHS teacher?

  • You may teach as part-time teacher in Senior High School under the track subjects. We encourage you to consider this to share your valuable knowledge and experience to our SHS learners.

How will K to 12 affect the college curriculum?

  • The College General Education curriculum will have fewer units. Subjects that have been taken up in Basic Education will be removed from the College General Education curriculum.
  • Details of the new GE Curriculum may be found in CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, series of 2013.


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