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Monday, November 10, 2014

Testimony of an Awardee

Master Teacher II
Baya Elementary School

            For 13 years, I’ve worked as a public school teacher, awardees’ in the division level as Natatanging guro sa Filipino 2012, outstanding Teacher 2013 and for this year 2014 Gov. Migz R. Villafuerte Award of Excellence is the best thing that ever happened to me. I did not expect that what I have accomplished merited recognition such as this; much more when we were received a Plaque of Recognition at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum, Naga City during the 2014 National Teachers’ Month and World Teachers’ Day Celebration and had a chance to see personally the higher officials of DepEd Camarines Sur and the youngest Governor of Camarines Sur Governor Migz R. Villafuerte and Senator Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr.
            I could hardly imagine how I was made worthy of this award! Everyday when I went to work, I had only one thing in mind: to make myself available for service to everyone. I did not expect any reward since I considered myself fortunate when I was young since I received a lot of blessings. I finished my Baccalaureate Degree and Master of Arts in spite of those trials and difficulties and for me, it is but proper to share the graces especially when my expertise is needed. Every time I give my best, I feel fulfilled and experience inner peace and happiness.
            This award reminds me every now and then not to carry my weight around but rather to perform my duties professionally. It serves as a booster for me to double my commitment especially when the service is meant for the deprived, the depressed and those who are longing for free access to education. My pupils were inspired to see me receive this award. I know they will be working in government agencies in the near future and will follow the footsteps of their teacher. My co – teachers, whom I consider as my second family, will be more inspired to work with me, because this award is not meant for me alone: rather, it is theirs too.
            Lastly, my gratitude to the province of Camarines headed by Governor Migz R. Villafuerte and Department of Education, Division of Camarines Sur for sponsoring the search for Gov. Migz R. Villafuerte Award of Excellence ; to the public school District Supervisor of Ragay District Joselito N. Moldez and the school Principal of Baya Elementary School, Maria Linda R. Mien for putting their trust in my capacity and endorsing me as nominee of the district, to my family for their understanding and support . Above all, to God Almighty for bringing this award to His lowly servant. I am giving back this honor and glory to Him.

K TO 12 Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will the K to 12 program be implemented?
          • Universal Kindergarten started in SY 2011-2012.
          • The new curriculum for Grade 1 and Grade 7 (High School Year 1) will be
             implemented in SY 2012-2013 and will progress in the succeeding school years.
          • Grade 11 (HS Year 5) will be introduced in SY 2016-2017, Grade 12 (HS Year 6) in
             SY 2017-2018.
          • The first batch of students to go through K to 12 will graduate in 2018.
2. Where will the additional two years be added?
          • The two years will be added after the existing four-year high school program. This
             will be called Senior High School (SHS).
3. Why is the K to 12 program better than the current program?
          • K to 12 offers a more balanced approach to learning that will enable children to
             acquire and master lifelong learning skills (as against a congested curriculum).
          • It will help in freeing parents of the burden of having to spend for college just to
             make their children employable.
4. Will this address the dropout problem?
          • The decongested curriculum will allow mastery of competencies and enable
             students to better cope with the lessons. This should partly address those who drop
             out because they cannot cope with schoolwork.
          • The curriculum will be learner-centered, enriched, and responsive to local needs.
             It will also allow students to choose career pathways that suit their interest. This
             should partly address those who drop out because of lack of personal interest.
          • DepEd will also continue to offer programs such as home schooling for elementary
             students and the dropout reduction program for high schools. These programs
             address the learning needs of marginalized students and learners at risk of
             dropping out.
5. How will K to 12 help in ensuring employment for our graduates?
          • The K to 12 basic education curriculum will be sufficient to prepare students for
          • The curriculum will enable students to acquire Certificates of Competency (COCs)
             and National Certifications (NCs). This will be in accordance with TESDA training
             regulations. This will allow graduates to have middle level skills and will offer them
             better opportunities to be gainfully employed.
          • There will be school-industry partnership for techvoc tracks to allow students gain
             work experience while studying and offer the opportunity to be absorbed by the
6. How will the K to 12 program help working students (college level)?
          • DepEd is working in collaboration with CHED to provide more opportunities for
             working students to attend classes.
          • DepEd is working with the Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that
             jobs will be available to K to 12 graduates and that consideration will be given to
             working students.
7. How will the K to 12 program help students intending to pursue higher education?
          • The K to 12 basic education curriculum will be in accordance with the college
             readiness standards from CHED which sets the skills and competencies needed of K
             to 12 graduates who wish to pursue higher education.
          • CHED will review its general education subjects to avoid repetition of Grades
            11 and 12 content and learning areas. The CHED curricular review may lead to
            a significant reduction in the number of years of college courses resulting in a
            decrease in educational expenses of households.
8. How close is DepEd to addressing the resource gaps (i.e., classroom, teachers)?
          • DepEd has targeted to close the resource gaps in the next two years.
          • Aside from increase in the national education budget, DepEd is enjoying support
            from local governments, private partners, and donor agencies.
9. How about the additional cost to parents?
          • Grades 11 and 12 (HS Years 5 and 6) will be offered for free in public schools.
          • K to 12 graduates will have higher earning potential since they will be more
            competent and skilled compared to graduates of the current 10-year system.
          • DepEd is in discussion with CHED on the possibility of decreasing the number of
            years of certain courses in college.
          • K to 12 graduates will have national certification from TESDA, which will enable
            them to have higher employment opportunities.
10. What will happen to the college and universities during the 2-year transition period
       (SY 2016-2017 and SY 2017-2018)?
          • DepEd is in the process of formulating a transition management plan which includes
            working in collaboration with other educational institutions during the two-year gap
            between the end of secondary education and start of college due to the introduction
            of Senior High School. The arrangements may include using private school facilities
            and teachers for senior high school during the transition period.
          • DepEd is working closely with private educational institutions to address these
            transition management issues.
11. Will senior high school be implemented in existing high schools or will new schools
      be built?
          • Existing schools will be used for the additional 2-year program. DepEd is likewise in
            discussions with CHED, TESDA, and private schools to use their existing facilities
            during the transition period and beyond.
12. Is K to 12 required for private schools as well? Will the same implementation
      timeline apply to private schools?
          • Since private schools follow the DepEd curriculum, they will also be implementing
            the 12-year basic education program, but the implementation plan will differ. This
            will be discussed with the representatives of the private schools.
          • Private schools are active participants in developing the K to 12 program. Note
            that a number of private schools offer at least 12 years of basic education: 2-3
            years of pre-elementary (nursery, kindergarten and preparatory), 6 or 7 years of
            elementary, and 4 years of high school.
13. How will the college and technical-vocational courses be adjusted due to the K to
      12 curriculum? Will adjustments be made in time for the first graduates of K to 12?
          • TESDA will give certification to technical and vocational courses in the secondary
            levels while CHED will reduce the general education subjects in higher education to
            avoid duplication or repetition of subjects.
14. What will happen to the curriculum? What subjects will be added and removed?
          • There will be continuum from Kinder to Grade 12 and to technical and higher
          • The current curriculum will be decongested to allow for mastery of learning.
          • In Grades 11 and 12 (HS Years 5 and 6), core subjects like Math, Science and English will be
            strengthened. Specializations in the students’ areas of interest will also be offered.
         • Right now, a technical working group has formulated the new curriculum
           framework, standards, and competencies for K to 12. Experts from CHED, TESDA,
           and other stakeholders are part of this working group. The enhancement of the
           curriculum framework, standards, and competencies continues as they go through
           the validation process.
15. What specializations will be offered in senior high school?
          • Among the specializations offered will be on academics, technical and vocational
            courses, sports and arts. The specializations that schools offer will also be determined
            by local needs and conditions and their capacity.
16. How will students choose their specializations?
          • Students will undergo several assessments to determine their interests and strengths.
            These will include an aptitude test, a career assessment examination, and an
            occupational interest inventory for high schools. Results of these tests should help
            students decide on their specialization.
17. For senior high school, what will happen if majority of our students want to specialize
      in agriculture and only one is interested to take math or academics? How will this
      be accommodated?
          • The areas of specialization in Senior High School will be offered according to the
             resources available in a locality and the needs of students.

The Attributes of a K to 12 Teachers

The K to 12 education reform will upgrade the country’s education system and align it to the
requirements of the 21st century. This will require a K to 12 teacher to develop the essential
knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values of the students to enable them to cope with these
It is imperative for K to 12 teachers to know the characteristics or attributes critical to 21st
century education so that they may be able to integrate them in their teaching.
The following are the attributes of the K to 12 Teacher:
        • Multi-literate- As the 21st century expands our learning, literacy or “the ability
          to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute printed and
          written materials” (UNESCO, 2005) must also expand to include media and digital
          literacy. A multiliterate teacher knows how to use various technologies in teaching.
          Multispecialist- K to 12 education gears for the holistic development of learners. In

         developing the whole child, various learnings and experiences must be integrated.
         For this, teachers must be multispecialist, that is, they must be knowledgeable not
         only in the subject area they are teaching but in other areas as well so that they can
         help the learner build up what they gain in classrooms and outside the school and
         make sense of what was learned.
      • Multiskilled- K to 12 ushers in various ways of learning. For teachers to cope with
         the demand for widening learning opportunities, they must be skillful not just in
         teaching but also in facilitating, organizing groups and activities.
      • Self-directed- Teachers who are responsible in various aspects of school life must
         know how to initiate action and bring to fruition the learning goals of the students
         and the educational goals of the country.
      • Lifelong learner-For K to 12 teachers, learning never ends. Teachers must be
        constantly updated on the latest information related to their subject and the trends
        in pedagogy. Moreover, they should also be sharing and applying what they are
        learning with their students and colleagues.
     • Flexible- K to 12 education is student-centered. Thus, teachers must be able to adapt
        to various learning styles and needs of the learners. Teachers must also be flexible
        enough to ensure that learning takes place all the time using alternative modes.
     • Creative problem solver-Providing quality education is not without hurdles.
       Problems will be there inside the classroom and within the school. Teachers must
       be there to offer innovative ideas and creative solutions to problems.
    • Critical thinker-The development of higher order thinking skills is an important
      goal of K to 12 Education. Teachers need to be critical thinkers so that they could
      stir students to think about what they have learned, ask questions, reason out, probe,
      and establish their own knowledge and belief.
   • Has passion for excellent teaching- Having the passion to teach effectively ensures
      that students learn under the care and guidance of a teacher. An ordinary teacher
      merely talks and gives instruction to students, but a K to 12 teacher has a passion
      that motivates students to learn and succeed in life.
   • High Emotional Quotient (EQ)- To be a successful K to 12 teacher, one must not
     only have the head but also the heart to teach. Teaching is an emotionally taxing
     and influential job as it involves interaction with human beings. This demands that

Roles of Teachers in the K to 12 Education Program

Teachers are the key to achieving the vision of K to 12 education program. With this high
demand for teachers, DepEd will give due consideration and appropriate support to ensure that teachers will be able to fulfill their significant role in the K to 12 education program.
          • K to 12 education does not mean that teachers will have more workload.
          • Decongestion of the curriculum will help teachers focus on mastering competencies.
          • Pre-service and in-service training is in place to prepare teachers for the
            implementation of K to 12.
Teachers are the critical players in the K to 12 Education Program. Thus their support is necessary bring the vision of K to 12 closer to reality. Teachers are enjoined to:
          • Understand the rationale of K to 12 and the implications it will bring,
          • Acquire the attributes and skills of a K to 12 teacher;
          • Be prepared to implement K to 12 education program by participating in K to 12
            orientations and trainings,
          • Be able to explain K to 12 education program to stakeholders such as students,
            parents, and members of the community