Senate approves K to 12 program

The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to improve the educational system in the country by adding two more years in the current ten-year curriculum.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Committee on Education, Arts and Culture and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3286, otherwise known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012, said the additional two years in the current curriculum would help Filipinos be more globally competitive.

He said the Philippines is one of the three countries which does not implement the 12-year curriculum.

Once enacted into law, elementary education will comprise of one year of kindergarten and six years of elementary education. On the other hand, secondary education will include four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school education.

Angara said the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (Ched) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will be in charge of designing the enhanced basic education curriculum.

Minority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano proposed the creation of a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Enhanced Basic Education Program to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the act.

Mandatory evaluation and review shall be conducted by the DepEd by 2014 and a midterm report be submitted to Congress on the implementation of the K-12 program.

The DepEd shall also endeavor to increase the per capita spending on education towards the immediate attainment of international benchmarks.

“This is more than just about expanding basic education by adding two years to a 10-year cycle. This is about the State, the Filipino people as a single policy, fulfilling the solemn duty to educate and nurture its citizens to the best of our collective abilities,” Angara concluded.

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