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School Opens June 4; Deped Pilots New K-12 Program Curriculum

BAGUIO CITY – Public elementary and high schools will open on June 4 with the Department of Education piloting the K-12 program's new curriculum for Grade I and Grade VII.

City schools division administrative officer Atty. Augustin Laban III said the K-12 curriculum will use the Mother-Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB-MLE) where the country's 12 "mother tongue languages" will be used as medium of instruction.

The languages are Tagalog, Iloko, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Maguindanaoan, Maranaoan, Tausog and Chavacano.

"K-12 offers a more balanced approach to learning that will enable children to acquire and master lifelong learning skills as against a congested curriculum under the ten-year basic education for the 21st century," Laban said.

The "K" in the K-12 basic education program stands for the institutionalization of kindergarten as part of the basic education system and is "compulsory for admission to Grade 1."

This means that children aged five years old are required to enroll in kindergarten classes prior to their admission to Grade 1.

The "12" on the other hand refers to the 12 years basic education required under the program spread out as follows: six years in the elementary, four years in junior high school and two years in senior high school.

"A 12-year program is found to be the adequate period for learning under basic education and is a requirement for recognition of professionals abroad," Laban said.

"A student who completes the K-12 will be equipped with skills, competencies and recognized certificates equivalent to a two-year college degree."

Laban said the additional two years of senior high school will be offered for free in public schools.

He said the House of Representatives approved the 2012 budget amounting to P238.8 billion which includes P2.4 billion for the kindergarten component of the program and more budget is expected to be earmarked when the Grade 11 component is introduced in 2016.

 
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