DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) Assistant Secretary for Planning Jesus Mateo said he expects an early implementation of the senior high school (Grade 11 and 12) under the government’s flagship Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) program.
Mateo said they wanted to advance the implementation of senior high school a year earlier or in June 2015 because President Benigno Aquino 3rd wishes to see the K-to-12 reform through during his term.
He said the original plan for Grade 11 nationwide is to commence by June 2016, but the President wanted half of the Grade 11 students to already start by June 2015.
“Hindi na 2016 ‘yung [Grades] 11 and 12 kasi ‘yung iba, ‘yung iba pwede na namin i-advance,” Mateo told reporters in an earlier interview. “Kaya minadali na namin ‘yung curriculum para i-advance ‘yung implementation.”
“That’s why you will find the 2014 [proposed]budget [includes an allocation for]classrooms. Around 15,000 classrooms will be constructed for the first batch of Grade 11 students for 2015,” he added.
For 2014, Malacañang has proposed a P336.9-billion budget for DepEd.
Originally, the education department proposed a P334-billion budget for the next year, from its budget for this year of P293.4 billion.
But DepEd has received an additional P3-billion budget to advance the implementation of senior high school.
According to Mateo, the House has allocated another P1 billion for a school feeding program, for a total approved budget of P337.9 billion.
Under the original plan, Grade 11 or the first of the two additional senior high school years, was supposed to start nationwide in June 2016.
A major policy reform under the Aquino administration, the K-to-12 reform called for the gradual overhaul of the basic education curriculum which will now consist of one-year preschool, six years of elementary and six years of high school.
In 2011, kindergarten education became mandatory as part of the initial implementation of the K-to-12 program.
In 2012, the education department began to revise the curriculum beginning with Grade 1 and 7 (formerly first year high school).
The revised curriculum for Grade 2 and 8 was implemented this school year, while those for Grade 3 and 9 and for Grade 4 and 10 were due in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Under the original schedule, the curriculum for Grade 11 along with Grade 4 was supposed to come out in 2016 while those for Grade 12 and Grade 5 were due in 2017.
Mateo said they will release this month the complete curriculum for all grade levels including those for senior high school.