By MADEL R. SABATER
Palace urges public to back program’s implementation; tutors’ group wants it shelved; new DepEd grading system up
Manila, Philippines – Malacañang urged the public yesterday to support the implementation of the K to 12 program even as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is seeking to put a stop to it.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that while resistance towards reform is understandable, the K to 12 program is being implemented this school year for the beneﬁt of the schoolchildren.
The ACT has been urging Malacañang and the Department of Education (DepEd) to stop the implementation of the K to 12 program, saying that the program has not been well prepared.
“It is normal for any plan of reform to be met with resistance,” Valte said.
“However, we need to overcome this resistance in order to put our education system at par with international standards to ensure that our graduates will have the necessary skills and qualiﬁcations,” she added.
The Palace official then urged the public to support the program’s implementation.
“All stakeholders must cooperate to make the K+12 program work for the beneﬁt of our schoolchildren,” Valte said.
The DepEd’s K to 12 Basic Education Program would add two years to the country’s basic education and increase capabilities among students who would opt to work after graduating from high school.
The K to 12 begins with kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.
It has been implemented in all public elementary and high schools nationwide this coming school year.
It was recalled that in February, President Aquino also signed Republic Act (RA) 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Law, which will provide free and compulsory kindergarten education beginning school year 2012-2013.
Under the said law, children aged five will be required to take up a year in Kindergarten in preparation for entry to Grade 1.
NEW DEPED GRADING SYSTEM UP
Instead of the traditional numerical values, the grades in the report cards will reflect as letters after the Department of Education (DepEd) ordered the use of a new grading system to assess and rate learning outcomes of students in public elementary and high schools.
This school year, with the intensified implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, parents will no longer be seeing numbers in the report cards of students from Grades 1 to 10. As per DepEd Order No. 31 Series of 2012 or “Policy Guidelines on the Implementation of Grades 1 to 12 Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) Effective School Year 2012-2013,“ Education Secretary Armin Luistro ordered public schools to implement the K to 12 BEC -particularly to Grades 1 and 7 which will be most affected by the new curriculum -and challenged schools “to implement the guidelines in creative and innovative ways for the curriculum can be localized without compromising the philosophy of total learner development“.
“The new grading system seeks to measure the students’ level of proﬁciency at the end of each quarter,” Luistro said. “The assessment process is holistic and aims to ensure the quality of student learning with emphasis on formation and development,” he explained.
DepEd, he said, “will also release another separate order with more details on the new rating system”.
In the new grading system, letter “A” will reﬂect as highest, letter “P” as second highest and letter “B” as lowest. Luistro explained that the letters actually represent “levels of proﬁciency as abbreviated”. To rate the learning outcome of students, teachers will be giving “A” for “Advanced” to students with 90 percent and above rating; “P” for “Proﬁcient” to students with 85 to 89 percent rating; “AP” for “Approaching Proﬁciency” to students with 80 to 84 percent rating; “D” for Developing to students with 75 to 79 percent rating and “B” for “Beginning” to students with 74 percent and below rating.
Luistro said that teachers will still measure students’ progress with numerical values, but their letter equivalents above will be used in report cards “so that the focus will be less on competition and more on achieving standards of learning“.
At the end of the quarter, Luistro explained that the performance of students shall be described in the report card based on the level of proficiency. When the teacher gives “B“ it means that the student “struggles with his/her understanding; pre-requisite and fundamental knowledge and/or skills have not been required or developed adequately to aid understanding“.
Students given with “D“ are those that “possesses the minimum knowledge and skills and core understandings but needs the help throughout the performance of authentic tasks“ while those given “AP“ are students that have “developed the fundamental knowledge and skills and core understandings and with little guidance from teacher and/or with some assistance from peers, can transfer these understandings through authentic performance tasks“.
Those that are given “P“ are students that have “developed fundamental knowledge and skills and core understandings and can transfer them independently through authentic performance tasks“ while students given with “A” are those that “exceed the core requirements in terms of knowledge, skills, and understandings and can transfer them automatically and ﬂexible through authentic performance tasks”.
The DepEd chief said that the assessment process to be used is holistic, with emphasis on the formative or developmental purpose of quality assuring student learning. “It is also standards-based as it seeks to ensure that teachers will teach to the standards and students will aim to meet or even exceed the standards,” he added. (Ina Hernando-Malipot)
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