- Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte says he now supports the K to 12 program of DepEd
- Duterte previously expressed opposition to the program during the campaign
- The first batch of senior high school students are set to enter Grade 11 this year
After previously expressing opposition to the controversial program, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte says he now supports the K to 12 basic education program of the Department of Education (DepEd).
Duterte says he was convinced about the benefits of K to 12 after meeting with some officers at DepEd.
“I was against it on the first day it was being implemented, but the bright guys sa Department of Education came to see me and explained to me how we are failing behind our neighbors,” he told GMA News.
During the campaign, Duterte said he opposed the program due to limited resources of the department. He also suggested that senior high school should be made optional.
With the first batch of senior high school students set to enter Grade 11 during the opening of this school year on June 13, the incoming president is now convinced of the program’s benefits in raising the standards of Filipino students with that of other nationalities.
“Karamihan dito if you’d notice ang mga Chinese bright sa math at iyong mga Pilipino bright sa bolahan. [Most of us here, if you’d notice that the Chinese are bright in math while the Filipinos are bright in bluffing],” he said in jest.
The K to 12 program is an overhaul of the basic education curriculum that aims to strengthen kindergarten while adding two more years in high school for a total of 13 years in basic education.
Supporters of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 signed by President Benigno Aquino III say that the program bridges the gap in the quality of education in the country to make it at par with international standards.
Before the implementation of K to 12, the Philippines was only one of three countries in the whole world, and the only one in Asia, to still follow a 10-year basic education cycle.