Reaping the First Fruits of K-12
By: LETICIA E. EUGENIO
SEPS - SMME
“More knowledgeable… More skilled…. More prepared….”
This is the expected version of the first batch of graduates of Senior High School (SHS) all over the country after the implementation of the K-12 program, which was considered as one of the greatest leaps in our education system aiming to provide every Filipino child with education he can use in the global context.
Although the legislation of RA 10533 (Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013) which turned the 10-year basic education in the Philippines to 12 years earned criticisms from the public, particularly from parents, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured that this drastic change will be of advantage to the students, to the parents and to all other stakeholders.
With the implementation of the K-12 program, around 1.2 million SHS graduates in the country are better equipped with knowledge and learnings about their chosen track which they will need and use whether they choose to continue higher education, to start up a small business of their own or even if they choose to apply for a job.
Two years in Senior High School provide them the time to master the concepts in their line of interest. Graduates are also furnished to join overseas universities at the undergraduate level.
With the inclusion of Work Immersion (equivalent of on the job training) as a key subject under the SHS Curriculum, learners are provided with opportunities for workplace familiarity, employment simulation, and application of their competencies in areas of specialization/applied subjects in authentic work environments.
Their early exposure to the real work environment helped them to gain practical industrial skills which is what they will need to face the world.
With the knowledge and skills that the graduates acquired from their classes and experiences during their SHS years, they are now more prepared to go into their chosen paths. They are all set to pursue higher education since subjects in college (General Education) are already included in the SHS curriculum, equipping them with knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to go to college.
SHS graduates are also prepared to become entrepreneurs. They have an option to start their own business after graduation. Entrepreneurship courses are included in the K-12 curriculum.
Furthermore, they are also ready for employment. As how Education Secretary Leonor Briones expressed her confidence, a “significant number” of them can be employed after completing the K-12 program, particularly those who completed the Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL) track because they may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II), provided they pass the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
And as what Sec. Briones noted, there is a demand for SHS graduates in the fields of infrastructure, food industry, agriculture and tourism.
With these knowledge, skills and preparedness, SHS graduates are expected to have a better future in contributing to nation building and social development.
Let’s hope for their success!