Quality basic education is a fundamental human right that promotes the all-round development of an individual. In the Philippines, primary education consisting of six levels, is compulsory and is supplemented by the local governments. Nonetheless, some independent schools are now implementing an additional level to provide equity and quality for all children as they begin more formalized instruction. These trends in our education only bring confusion to the people and indicate lack of uniformity.
For the past decades, the government has been re-enforcing the six-year curriculum, focusing on building supplemental classrooms, hiring teachers and procuring textbooks as these are always been the proposed problems by the local internal units. In effect, others including parents and students have shown satisfaction in the current education system stating that higher supervision should focus on assisting educators in enriching their teaching strategies, skills and techniques.
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Furthermore, students traditionally sit for National Achievement Test (NAT) administered by the Department of Education to measure a school’s competency, so some say this is adequately enough. Also the government feels that with regard to its weak finances, the Filipinos, per se, are not subjectively and fervidly ready to accept a change in the system for it simply means extra burden to them. On the other hand, private schools opted to keep up with the pace requiring additional year so that future generations will benefit and continue developing.
They believe this empowers an individual who has learned through a program that is rooted on sound educational principles geared towards excellence, the foundations for learning throughout life and the capability to engage in critical thinking. People say today’s children’s are far wiser and different than yesterday’s learners, for the former yearns and yields new learning enhancements. It will also facilitate mutual recognition of Filipinos in other countries since Philippines is the only country in Asia with a different curriculum.
Several studies have shown that the improvements in the quality of education have positive overall impact on society. At present, Philippine primary education system has steadily stagnated and these outcomes are not surprising for the lack of transparency in the disbursement of the public funds, despite large allocation. Other countries view our education cycle as insufficient, having the lowest cohort survival rates compared with its neighbouring countries.
The government should find ways to address the deteriorating quality of education and the need to increase years of primary education. The change in curriculum will be an ongoing work in progress with many stakeholders from within and outside the school setting, challenging the current administration. In my point of view, the six-year system lacks mastery of basic competencies due to congested curriculum. The system needs major upgrading.
Change is inevitable in any society; it is a prerequisite on man to find ways to adapt with the dynamism of the world in order to survive. These changes often bring development. In order to be progressive, the government together with its people should catch up with the rest of the world. I agree with the statement that “lifelong learning is a survival skill” thus schools shall find ways of making learning meaningful and relevant in the lives of their students. I believe success comes from taking the first step and a willingness to make mistakes.