TheRevised General Education Curriculum (RGEC) takes the assumption that theimplementation of a 12-year basic education curriculum will cause the reductionof tertiary education into three years from the current four. Here are theinnovations enclosed on the GEC: (1) The RGEC of an institution for highereducation will be taken by all students in that institution, regardless ofmajor – a departure from current practices stemming from the difference made byGEC-A and GEC-B; (2) The RGEC consists of 36 units, reducing the 63 units ofthe GEC; and (3) Courses under the RGEC can be taken in the first year ofcollege education or spread out across the curriculum levels, unlike the GECcourses which are normally taken in the first years of the tertiary education(Cruz, 2011C). Cruz(2011C) quotes TPGE’s understanding of General Education: “The objective ofPhilippine education on the tertiary level is the holistic education ofFilipinos who contribute humanely and professionally to the development of ajust and economically-robust society in an environmentally-sustainable worldthrough competent and innovative leadership, as well as productive andresponsible citizenship. General Education (GE) on the tertiary level addressesthe development of the human being.
“Someof the outcomes expected of students finishing GE are: an appreciation of thehuman condition, the ability to personally interpret human experience, theability to view the contemporary world from both Philippine and globalperspectives, the ability to reflectively and critically discern right andwrong in today’s world, the ability to tackle problems methodically andscientifically, the ability to appreciate and to contribute to artistic beauty,and the ability to contribute personally and meaningfully to the development ofthe Philippines” (Cruz, 2011C). K to 12EducationPrior to the implementation of the K+12curriculum, the Philippines was one of only three countries in the world andthe only one in Asia that still had only 10 years of basic education. Somestudents find the system problematic when they tried to compete in theinternational job market which requires 12 years of basic education.
Therefore,aside from hoping to provide higher quality of education to Filipino studentsby having longer educational cycle, the Philippine government implemented K+12program or the Kindergarten and the 12 years of elementary and secondaryeducation in order to decongest the pre-collegiate curricula aiming to addressthe lack of competencies among high school graduates.The implementation of K+12 is closely linkedwith the Education for All (EFA) Plan of Action Critical Task No. 5 whichmandates the expansion of the basic education in the country (SEAMEO Innotech,n.d.). Such task aims not only to develop the individual Filipino students butalso to improve the social condition of the nation.
In addition, to keepabreast with the needs and demands of the 21st century education andconsequently the world labor market, it is deemed critical that the Philippineeducation system be reformed.To strengthen the basis of such reform, thePhilippine Department of Education (DepEd), through the National Education forAll Committee (NEC), engaged SEAMEO (Southeast Asian Ministers of EducationOrganization) INNOTECH to review the curricula of four Asian countries: +BruneiDarussalam, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines (SEAMEO Innotech, n.d.).SEAMEO INNOTECH is an intergovernmental organization among Southeast Asiancountries in order to promote cooperation in science, culture, and education byidentifying and solving common problems and needs.
The results of the reviewshow that:1. Theeducational goals of the Philippines must be improved to make them morefocused, clearer, relevant, and anchored on the 21st centurycompetencies;2. Subjects inthe Philippines are overcrowded and cover much technical content;3. The timeallotment for all subjects is longer than the other three benchmarkedcountries; and4. Among thefour countries, the Philippines is the only country that does not have nationallevel examinations that are internationally recognized. In other Asian countries like Singapore whichalready practices K+12 education, reform is also deemed crucial in fullyaddressing the needs of the changing world. The Technology Outlook forSingaporean K+12 Education 2012-2017 was compared to Technology Outlook forAustralian Tertiary Education 2012-2017. After the evaluation, Singaporeanexperts believed that their country’s K+12 should adapt more “online, hybrid,and collaborative model” (Horizon Project, 2012:7).
These models do not onlyfoster teamwork but also informal peer-to-peer learning and commutation amongstudents. The government of Singapore also acknowledges the need to transformits textbooks to enhance both formal and informal learning, and therefore mustdirect its publication in a way that learning the material is tied to academiclife and the community around them.In the United States of America, the complexcore engineering concepts of systems and optimization and skills inrepresentation and experimentation were incorporated in their K+12 education(Committee on K+12 Engineering Education, 2009). In order to successfullyinclude these concepts and skills, a study was conducted and the committeesuggested the following:1.
Allocatingsufficient classroom time for students to develop core concepts throughimmersion in extended design activities;2. Encouraging iterative, purposeful revisions ofstudent designs; and3. Sequencing instruction to build from theeasiest-to-learn aspects of core concepts to the more difficult-to-learnaspects.