By Jeannette I. Andrade, April 27, 2023; Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is proposing the conversion of the current K-12 basic education curriculum into what she called the “K+10+2” program.
The former president, who is now Pampanga representative, said she had filed a bill pushing for this shift, during Wednesday’s joint hearing of the House committees on basic education and culture, and on higher and technical education. The panels were then fine-tuning House Bill No. 7505, or the proposed Act Strengthening the Technical, Vocational and Livelihood (TVL) Curriculum for the Senior High School.
Duterte, Marcos told
Arroyo noted that numerous studies, including that of the Department of Education, had shown that the TVL curriculum in the two years of senior high school had failed to meet its original goal of producing job-ready graduates.
She said that in consultation with Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte and “with the knowledge of” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., “I have filed a bill. It’s going to be called K-10 plus 2.”
“The last two years will not be voc-tech. They will be similar to the foundational college courses in Europe where they are preparatory to university education,” the House leader explained.
Under the scheme laid out in her bill, she said, students will graduate upon completing fourth year high school, “then the last two years will be postsecondary or preuniversity for those who want to proceed to a professional degree.”
Tesda can help in shift
“Hopefully it will be an alternative solution to improving technical education which should have been done administratively and not by law,” she said.
The lawmaker asked the two committees of the House to defer deliberations on HB 7505 until her “closely related” bill could be referred to the same panels for scrutiny.
While her proposed measure did not include provisions on TVL in the last two years of basic education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) can work with the Deped for the transition, she said, adding that students interested in tech-voc could go to Tesda schools in the two years after they finish fourth-year high school.
Acting as committee chairs, Baguio Rep. Mark Go and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo granted Arroyo’s motion to defer.
HB 7505 calls for the creation of a TVL council that will periodically review the tech-voc track in the K-12 curriculum; enhance the participation of private industries in opening job opportunities to graduates; and ensure that students would receive national certificates from Tesda for free, apart from their senior high school diplomas.
Romulo noted that, under the current setup, senior high school graduates still need to pay for their national certificates from Tesda, a requirement running counter to the government’s free basic education program.