Did Philippines scrap last 2 years of high school under K-10 shift?

Official explains changes in the country's basic education system


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Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

Published: Sat 26 Aug 2023, 10:23 AM

When Philippine Vice-President Sara Duterte announced the new K-10 education scheme, many Netizens, particularly parents, hailed the move.

"No more K-12, it's back to K-10," reads part of a Facebook post shared on August 10. Some believed K-10 would "replace" the K-12 and eliminate two years of high school.

However, this is not the case.

The Philippines has not scrapped the final two years of high school, contrary to false posts shared on social media which have misrepresented remarks by Duterte. An education spokesman told AFP that only legislation can prompt such a change. No law shortening the archipelago's basic education has been passed as of August 25.

"K-12" refers to the Philippine national education programme which mandates 13 years of schooling, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The scheme was established in 2013 in a bid to align basic education in the country with the rest of the world.

Before this, the Philippines had a 10-year basic education system, consisting of six years of primary education and four years of high school.

The Facebook post features a clip showing Philippine Vice-President and Education Secretary Duterte announcing the launch of an adjusted curriculum that covers "K to 10" — the first 10 years of schooling.

The clip has been viewed over 430,000 times.

Similar posts were also shared on Facebook and YouTube. Comments left to these posts indicate many social media users believed the claim that the high school years were reduced.

"This is true, students graduating in 2024 won't be part of the K to 12 program," one wrote in Tagalog.

Another said: "For a parent like me, this is good news!"

The claim is false.

Misrepresented remarks

Nowhere in her speech does Duterte announce K-12 had been scrapped. Instead, she announced changes in the first 10 years of basic education that would take effect beginning school year 2024-2025.

The adjusted curriculum will focus on literacy and numeracy skills, and the number of subjects in the first two grades will be reduced from seven to five, she said.

Duterte added that the curriculum for the final two years of high school "is currently being reviewed".

Education spokesman Michael Poa also refuted the claim, telling AFP on August 24: "K-12 is mandated by law. DepEd cannot unilaterally change that without legislation."

A bill filed at the House of Representatives in April proposed making the final two years of K-12 required only for students pursuing tertiary education.

A check with the House website shows the measure remains "pending" at the committee level as of August 25.


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