Saturday, April 19, 2014

Education Changes in the Philippines

I've been reading some more about the in-process changes to the education system in the Philippines, because I was wondering whether Jie and Joyce (both 15 and, under the old system, Seniors in high school in the coming school year) would be graduating and moving on to college or they'd be continuing on into two more years of high school under the new system.

I have read that "current 4th Year students in high school in S.Y. 2014-2015 are exempted in this program." The new 11th grade will be implemented in 2016 and the new 12th grade in 2017. So it seems that they will graduate and, if they choose, go to college.

There are some other interesting changes that are taking effect with the new education system. In the old system, instruction occurred in English. Now, English isn't even begun until the second semester of first grade. "In Kindergarten, the pupils are mandated to learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors through games, songs, and dances, but in their mother tongue; thus after Grade 1, every student can read on his/her mother tongue." For the second semester of grade one and throughout second and third grade they study English with an emphasis on oral fluency. From grade four, Filipino and English as a medium of instruction will both be used. There are specific subjects that will be taught in each language; English will be used for English, Science and Technology, Home Economics and Livelihood Education.

Reasoning behind the shift in instructional language use: "Though elementary schooling is compulsory, as of 2010 it was reported that 27.82% of Filipino elementary-aged children either never attend or never complete elementary schooling, usually due to the absence of any school in their area, education being offered in a language that is foreign to them, or financial distress. In July 2009 DepEd moved to overcome the foreign language issue by ordering all elementary schools to move towards initial mother-tongue based instruction (grades 1–3). The order allows two alternative three-year bridging plans. Depending on the bridging plan adopted, the Filipino and English languages are to be phased in as the language of instruction for other subjects beginning in the third and fourth grades."

There's a lot more info to dig through on the Wikipedia article, and there is a chart showing the integration of the new grades in the "2010s and the K-12 program" section.

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