By Romer R. Butuyan
MANILA — House Assistant Minority Leader and ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro stressed that the K-to-12 congested curriculum is a huge failure that led to the dismal performance of Filipino Grade 4 students in the recent international assessment in Math and Science proficiency.
Castro made the statement as she slammed the Department of Education (DepEd) declaration that teachers’ competence and commitment, and medium of instruction are factors affecting the students learning ability.
“DepEd’s incompetence immensely impacts teachers and students’ performance. The poor performance of Filipino students in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 marks the failure of DepEd’s K to 12 program,” Castro said.
“Among the outputs of DepEd’s incompetence and haphazard implementation of so-called education reform is the curriculum congestion, which compromises adequate teaching time and students’ deeper understanding. This is worsening under the case of blended learning scheme,” she added.
According to her, the results of the TIMSS 2019 and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 proved that K-to-12 did not enhance the quality of basic education in the country.
Castro pointed out that the K-to-12 curriculum framework of spiral progression in teaching Mathematics and Science, which was hastily implemented during the Aquino administration, is ineffective based from experience.
Also, the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) implemented in 1989 was evaluated as a curriculum failure because it was found that the curriculum itself is overcrowded by putting together too many competencies and topics. This is also the reason why the curriculum was changed to Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) in 2003.
“K-to-12 curriculum implements the ‘chopsuey method’ where teachers are forced to teach a little of everything is ineffective in attaining a mastery of skills in Math and Science. Dahil kalat-kalat ang pamamaraan ng pagtuturo, kada taon ay kinakailangang magsimula muli sa review ng bawat lesson bago makapagpatuloy sa aktwal na ituturo, na lumala pa lalo ngayon sa sitwasyon ng blended learning.” Castro said in mix of English and Filipino.
Meanwhile, Castro defended the overworked but less appreciated public school teachers from the said poor performances of Grade 4 students in the recent international tests.
“Pasan-pasan na nga ng mga guro ang bigat na dulot ng distance learning, nasa guro na naman ang sisi sa mababang assessment samantalang hindi man lang nakita ng DepEd ang pagkukulang nila,” Castro stated.
“Investing on the needs of our teachers by giving them just remuneration, ensuring that they will not have out-of-pocket expenses, and removing teaching overloads and non-teaching duties will be the key factors to perform better in their teaching tasks and help the youth score better in international assessments,” she added.
She said that “the government must realize that there’s a need to abolish the K-to-12 program, create a curriculum that will meet the needs of the society, and to invest more in education so we can address the issues of quality education.” (AI/FC/MTVN)