AN education expert hailed the Philippine government for its flagship Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) reform, and stressed that the country’s upgrade to a twelve-year basic education will make it at par with the education system and standards of other countries.
Asia Society Senior Adviser for Education Vivien Stewart, who was the keynote lecturer in the Philippine Education Conference, said the Philippine government has made the right move in investing new level of education by making Kindergarten a compulsory to all school children and adding two extra years in high school.
“I think the effort is to raise standards of Philippine education system in time of the Asean integration in 2015. I think of a very impressive region in investment and much will depend on how much influences and how whether teachers influence in schools,” Stewart told this reporter in an earlier interview.
“Yes, I would be very impressed I think the Philippines since now have some drive in vision and leadership to create things in the 21st century education system that will help all students and that’s the reason we have good schools with top students,” Stewart added.
The education expert also stressed that the Philippines should adopt effective ways to a high-performing system.
In order to develop a world-class education system, she said, the Philippines should have a clear vision or prediction.
“I think the first thing is there have to be a long term vision about the need to change in the education. It’s about a need to educate children with a high standard in a very rapidly change. Secondly, you need to sustain leadership because it takes more than a year to change the education system. Thirdly, you need to have ambitious standard because what would a great education 20 years ago will not children in the future,” she said.
In her book, A World-Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and Innovation, Stewart pointed out that “all countries face challenges in adapting their education systems to the vast transformations taking place around the world,” but a number of countries have had success in improving their schools and consequently become the world’s top-performing systems.
She cited Shanghai/ Hong Kong, Singapore, Finland, Canada, Japan, Australia/ New Zealand, and Korea as countries that have the best school systems in the 21st century.
Under the K-to-12 reform, it adds two years to basic education, covering kindergarten and 12 years of basic education: six years of primary education (Grade 1-6), four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11-12).
The new education system aims to improve the quality of basic education and adequately prepare high school graduates for college education, work or employment, making them globally competitive.