The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday officially launched the revised Kindergarten to Grade 10 (K-10) curriculum of basic education.
At the event held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City on Thursday, DepEd Bureau of Curriculum Development director Jocelyn Andaya says the phased implementation of the MATATAG K-10 curriculum will begin in School Year (SY) 2024-2025 through to SY 2027-2028.
Among the features of the recalibrated curriculum is the reduction in the number of subjects, with greater emphasis given on the development of Kinder to Grade 3 learners' foundational skills—such as literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills .
For Grade 1, the number of subjects was reduced from seven to five: Language; Reading and Literacy; Mathematics; Makabansa; and Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC).
There will also be five subjects in Grade 2, with English and Filipino replacing the Language and Reading and Literacy in Grade 1.
Grade 3, meanwhile, will incorporate the same subjects in the previous year with the addition of Science.
Grades 4 to 10 will be taught eight subjects: Filipino; English; Science; Mathematics; Araling Panlipunan (AP); Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH); Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE); and GMRC.
The GMRC subject will become Values Education starting Grade 7.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said that the curriculum had to undergo revisions.
“Both teachers and learners were overburdened with lessons and other school tasks and activities. The result was devastating for our learners. It compromised their mastery of fundamental skills such as reading and solving simple math problems,” she said.
“These issues, along with other existing factors and conditions, contributed to our learning losses,” she added.
However, Duterte said that "peace competencies" will also be integrated in the new curriculum to highlight “the promotion of non-violent actions and the development of conflict-resolution skills in learners.”
“For after all, there is security, there is peace,” she said.
DepEd spokesperson Undersecretary Michael Poa said the Mother Tongue subject has been removed in the revised K-10 curriculum, but not as a medium of instruction.
Other findings of the K-10 curriculum review were misplaced prerequisite learning competencies and imbalanced cognitive demand.
Andaya said the new curriculum addresses these issues, has clearer articulation of 21st century skills, and is now on par with international standards.
The DepEd earlier adopted a National Learning Recovery Program to address the learning gaps that were heightened by school closures and disruption due to the pandemic. It also aims to deal with the “low performance” of learners in international large-scale assessments and national assessments.
One salient feature of the new K-10 curriculum is the introduction of a new learning competency called "Makabansa," which weaves skills in civics, arts and culture, history, and physical education and health.
“Layunin ng Makabansa na maipinta sa murang kaisipan ng mga magaaral ang malalim na pag-unawa sa sarili at kolektibong pagkakalinan bilang isang Pilipino na nakaugat sa kanyang pagiging bahagi ng komunidad, bayan, lungsod, lalawigan, at maging rehiyon,” Andaya said.
(Makabansa's goal is to paint in the minds of students a deep understanding of themselves, and their collective identity as a Filipino rooted in their being part of the community, town, city, province, or even region.)
She added that Makabansa serves as the foundation in molding students to be patriotic and developing awareness and pride in their identities and of the country’s history, arts, and culture.
No education sector background
Duterte also acknowledged the effort of DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching Gina Gonong in drafting the K-10 curriculum, admitting that she relies on other officials' expertise as she has no background in the education sector.
“I do not come from the education sector, I don’t have an education background so I cannot review what they’re doing and I rely on their expertise and all the stakeholders who did the review,” Duterte said.
“Ang magawa ko lang is I do very well, admittedly, is magpukpok talaga ng tao [is to hammer at people] to do what they’re supposed to do,” she added.
The Education chief also said she is one of the few ASEAN Education ministers who does not have these credentials.
Duterte is the current president of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council. — BM, GMA Integrated News