THE president of the city-run University of Makati (UMak) has urged educators across the country not to fear change, even radical change in the country’s educational system such as the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) program, saying this is needed to make the Philippines at par with the rest of the world
Prof. Tomas B. Lopez made the appeal on Wednesday during an education conference with the theme: “K-to-12 Strategems: Responding to the Challenges on Competitiveness, Accessibility and Sustainability Beyond 2016” at the University of Makati Mini-Theatre attended by school owners and administrators of various private schools.
“We need to change the concept of schools and education. The K-to-12 program is the most revolutionary reform program that we need,” Lopez said. “In a revolution, you can do two things. One, you can just stand and wait for their result or you participate and help redefine the revolution, and if you redefine you also redefine yourself.”
In his speech, Lopez noted that UMaK was at first hesitant to adopt the K-to-12 program when it was first broached by the Department of Education. After carefully studying and reviewing the program, however, UMAk decided to implement the program.
Lopez also said that the university asked for an additional funding from the city government to cover the expenses for the successful implementation of the program, which is being pilot tested at UMaK.
He said that the K-to-12 is a very ideal program for Makati considering that the skills that senior high school students would be equipped with under the program are also among the skills currently needed by industries and the labor market.
Lopez said Umak, under the K-to-12 education, has been offering courses that are aligned with the needs of the industry partners of Makati.
He explained that Makati-based companies are in need of graduates who are not only employable but who also have the skills needed to compete with their counterparts in the world.
As part of the program, Lopez said UMak has also partnered with the private sector for the success of program.
“Because of this initiative, we now have over 700 partners such as institutions, companies, industry associations, and government institutions. We have developed a unique partnership model,” he said.
The city-run university was the first among colleges and universities in the National Capital Region to implement the senior high school program.
“We have the largest K-to-12 implementation,” Lopez said.
The K-to-12 program is a revision of the 10-year basic education system implemented in the country that consists of six years elementary and four years of high school.
Under the K-to-12 reform, a student will be required to undergo kindergarten, six years of primary education (Grades 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.
Other higher education institutions that piloted the implementation of the senior high school program are: Manila Central University in Caloocan City, Consortium of Don Bosco/TVET Center, The Manila Times College, Asia Pacific College, Ateneo de Naga University, Philippine Women’s College of Davao City and Davao Doctor’s College.