The Basic Education Service in the Philippines
In the Philippines, formal and non-formal education are both available. Six years of elementary school, four years of secondary school, and four years of higher education culminating in a bachelor’s degree under the 6+4+4 system. This is one of the world’s shortest periods of formal schooling and the only country in Southeast Asia which provides 10 years of basic education. During this curriculum, the academic school year runs from June to March, for a total of 40 weeks. On the other hand, all higher education institutions adopt a semester system. Students can enroll in these semesters in the fall and winter, but they can also enroll in the summer term. Schooling is compulsory for age six years, beginning at the age of seven and ending at the age of twelve. This is a child’s fundamental school education, which lasts six years.
Moving forward to this day, K-12 was introduced in the education system here in the Philippines. The k-12 program consists of kindergarten plus 12 years of basic education. A child will enroll in kindergarten, six years of basic education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school. Now let us focus on the added extra two years in basic education (Senior High School). There are seven learning areas in Senior high School under the Core Curriculum. These are Languages, Literature, Communications, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Students will be able to choose a specialization based on students’ natural ability to do something, their interest, and the school itself. There are three track options for senior high school. These are Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, and Sports and Arts. In these three tracks, Academic has three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Science (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).
A lot of people argue if senior high is necessary to the education system in the Philippines. It creates buzz and mixed reactions from the public. Some people say that it’ll be a burden for poor families who can’t afford to send their children to school. Adding more years will only give them a hard time supporting their young ones financially. This is the concern of a lot of parents during the implementation of k-12 in the Philippines. But other people have a positive response to the k-12 program. Having this k-12 program will help the students to be confident and competitive. This will serve as their training ground to be ready as they hone their skill during the two years of senior high school preparing them to enter a higher level of learning in college. People might still be hesitant with the k-12 program, but how knows, it will be beneficial to everyone in the long run. In the end, what matters most is the welfare of the children.