Elementary and Secondary Education Curricula
(by Teodora D. Vitug  8/13/2012)

To provide learners the best education is the Department of Education’s commitment. Series of reforms in elementary and secondary education curriculum were utilized to attain quality education which is globally and geared to international standard.

The elementary education curriculum objectives are the following: to develop the spiritual, moral and physical capabilities of the child, provide experience in the democratic way of life and inculcate ideas and attitudes necessary for enlightened patriotic, upright and useful citizenship (Article III,. Act, 1982). Since formal education was established in our country, these objectives are carried out of the elementary education curriculum-preparing young people to become worthy citizens.

The subject areas of each particular elementary education curriculum from pioneer to the most recent have their own characteristic content, time allotment and credit units. All of these curricula are similar in a manner of developing a more comprehensive, standard, quality education, for our elementary pupils. Although, differences exist in subject nomenclature, the content of the different curricula is the same, and more updated concerns to the present times are included accordingly.

I think that the use of English or Filipino as medium of instruction for particular subject is just appropriate for nationalism and international level preparation. The use of mother-tongue, bilingual, as the case maybe can be employed for better communication.

The delivery of the elementary education curriculum develops progressively with its corresponding reforms. Introduction of ICT as early as pre-elementary brought about tremendous change to pupils’ performance, skills and values. This, I think should be guided strictly by adult/parents to ensure its worthwhile use. Grading system also changes as reforms are introduced, together with new guidelines in pupils’ promotion and retention which challenges teachers’ adaptability and professionalism.

Like the elementary educational curriculum, the secondary education curriculum is continuously progressing with its reforms and revisions. From the implementation of the first curriculum in 1950 series of reforms followed: Revised Secondary Education Program-RSEP (1974-1989), New Secondary Educational Curriculum-NSEC (1989-2002), Basic Education Curriculum-BEC (2002-2010) Secondary Education Curriculum-SEC (2010-2014).

Under RSEP eight subjects were included: English, Mathematics, Science, Filipino, Social Studies, Home Economics, Physical Education (with PMT/CAT in year four) and Character Education. English is the medium of instruction for almost all subjects except in Filipino subject. In its later years of implementation more time were spent in technology-related subjects like Science & Technology and Technology & Home Economics (THE). With the implementation of NSEC &BEC, again, more time were used in teaching technology-related subjects; Science and Technology & Livelihood Education (TLE) where ICT is incorporated. Lately, subjects were classified into 5 learning areas, English, Filipino, Mathematics, Science, and Makabayan- which consist of Araling Panlipunan, TLE, Music Arts Physical Education Health (MAPEH) and Values Education (VE). Lesser time is given in teaching V.E. wherein, the result is very obvious with the present time conduct-condition of the greater populace of our youth.

Special Programs are also implemented in some selected schools such as: Special Program in Sports (SPS) \, Special Program in Journalism (SJP), Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL), Special Science/Mathematics and Engineering and Science Education (ESEP), and Technical Vocational Program (TVP). All of these were offered to give chances for students of multiple intelligences. Then, this school year 2012-2013, K to12 Basic Education Program implementation with the proposed 6-4-2 model Kindergarten, 6 years in elementary education, 4 years in junior high school and 2 years to be spent in senior high school, with a total of 12 years in the basic education; Philippine education experts strongly believed that this will suffice for the best education of Filipinos.

Although, reforms were made in the implementation of each curriculum regarding its design, subject areas, time allotment and unit credits, mode of delivery, grading system and on promotion and retention; I think all of these revisions were made to develop fully the secondary education curriculum suited to our present needs for the consumption of our country and to be level-up internationally.

For every implementation of new curriculum in basic education, elementary and secondary, learners, parents, teachers, and administrators are affected positively & negatively. We must adapt and adjust with the pressing needs of our present time. Such as the need of being computer literate, responsible use of modern information and communication technology are only some important things to consider as our basic education moves on.

In the long run, joining hands for better cause is righteous. And for me, whatever contributions I can share for the continuous betterment of our Philippine Education System will be rendered, primarily for the glory of our Creator.