The Philippine school year 2016-2017 started on June 13. Millions of school children are back in the classroom. The said school year is comprised of 54 days for the first quarter, 48 days for the second quarter, another 48 days for the third quarter, and 52 days for the fourth quarter. It will officially end on April 7, 2017.
This school year also marks the full implementation of the K-to-12 program nationwide, particularly Senior High School (SHS). In line with this, SHS enrollment for SY 2016-2017 in all public secondary schools has already commenced since Monday (May 2).
The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School ) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship.
Every Filipino child now has access to early childhood education through Universal Kindergarten. At 5 years old, children start schooling and are given the means to slowly adjust to formal education. Research shows that children who underwent Kindergarten have better completion rates than those who did not. Children who complete a standards-based Kindergarten program are better prepared, for primary education.
According to Department of Education data, 5,927 public schools will begin offering Grade 11 in 2016 and Grade 12 in 2017. These public schools will utilize new classrooms and facilities constructed under the 2014 and 2015 budgets of DepEd or other fund sources. On the other hand, 4,827 private high schools, private and public universities and colleges, and technical-vocational schools will begin offering Grade 11 in 2016 and Grade 12 in 2017.
With 1.5 million incoming students expected to enter SHS, it put a massive pressure on families and school children, especially in the poorer areas. The financial burden of extra school years will affect many people A discount program for SHS is in process but will not reach everyone. These intentions of better and longer schooling have all the right intentions, I hope it will work out!
The Star of Hope School in Taytay, the Philippines I visited almost 20 years ago is still going strong. It has developed in to a great learning center for the poor people in the resettlement area in the outskirts of the national capital Manila. Many kids were fostered in to young adults and then entered university and became professionals in various fields. I’m impressed in many ways. It has expanded over the years. The school is trying to cope with the new K to 12 program.
The mandatory pre-school with three classes is in session, the Senior High School will be implemented next school year. More funds are need to complete the structure. I’m looking forward to the completed school and my next visit in the near future.