K3 in K-12: Are We Ready? (The Verdict)

When Grade Three got its taste on the new curriculum, beginning with the mass training of teachers last May, we were dreading the worse. And as the new school year opened a month after, I had my sleepless stressed nights, countless ink toners used,  aching hands and fingers (from typing LPs), got disconcerted several times, can you teach without Teachers’ Guide? Can the pupils learn without the LM? As teachers, we are known to do things impossible possible — ways and means (para-paraan lang) K-12 in Grade Three had its labor pains in the first trimester – it was soooo depressing and frustrating.

When the LMs (Learner’s Material) slowly arrive in batches (we already have five out of eight), we checked the books and were disappointed with the content. We felt that these LMs were written, but not carefully thought of with the learners in mind (I hope I’m wrong in this notion) compared with the RBEC, the books (in RBEC) were okay. And as a teacher handling Araling Panlipunan with focus on the learner’s region, another challenge came up. No LM in AP yet, and all TGs and LMs are in the pdf. We got no resource book for the region, so we have no choice but to exhaust all ways and means (para-paraan lang).

But if there’s one positive note about K-12, it’s the teachers themselves who utilized their abilities, creativity, and technology to share their input to their fellow teachers. And personally, I am thankful for the different Facebook groups who cater to the needs of the teachers and learners who are under the K-12. With the likes of Kto12 Grade Three Teachers Group F, Kto12 Grade Three Materials, Taga Deped Ako (TDA), etc., teaching in K-12 became quite bearable because of their output that  helped a lot of teachers like me. I am hoping that by next school year, which opening is just weeks away, all our problems and concerns would be answered by providing LMs and TGs, for instance.

And as I’m editing and finishing this blog entry, the Grade Four teachers are now undergoing seminar-training for K-12. Keeping my fingers crossed, but I know that they will be having the same labor pains that we had last school year.

And to answer the question posed by my blog’s entry? Give this curriculum a chance. To keep up with the rest of the world, the Philippines has to update herself to the latest educational trends. While it is true that old problems still exist, and with the advent of K12, the problems still prevail (teachers’ salary woes, lack of schools, classrooms, teachers, etc) I’m quite optimistic that by careful and planning ahead (c’mon, the Department of Education has many intellectuals there–tee hee!) these problems will be solved in due time, (I hope not in 30 years time!)

Which brings to mind my sister’s personal experience when she worked in Taiwan as senior IT consultant. Her colleague, a local, openly compared himself with her, in terms of their position. She was a senior consultant, he, who had acquired K-12 education there, mentioned that he had 12 years of basic education, while she has ten, and four years in college. But my sister has been working for almost ten years already then, hence, she has more work experience than him. Well, in spite of that, they remain friends up to now, even after her contract ended three years later.

The curriculum looks promising at the onset. Let us give K-12 a chance.

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