MANILA, Philippines - In an effort to bring more relevant education to young Filipinos, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to introduce this year an "enjoyable," "less burdensome" and "learner-centered" curriculum for Grade 1 and first year high school students.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said its K to 12 basic education program, which will be implemented starting this June, will be "less on memorization but more encouraging of critical thinking."
Under the program, the public school system will have kindergarten, six years in elementary, four years in junior high school, and two more years in senior high school.
First graders will be required to go to school for only half a day.
"From six hours contact time every day, we will reduce it to four hours to make education less stressful and more enjoyable for our young learners," Luistro said in a statement.
The K to 12 program will implement the mother tongue-based multi-lingual education system in studying lessons from kinder up to Grade 3.
Citing studies, Luistro said students learn better when the language used at home is the same one used in class.
"It is important that our learners develop that natural love for learning and not feel that it is something imposed on them," he said.
DepEd's move is part of the education reform program under the Aquino administration which "seeks to produce high school graduates who are equipped with skills for the world of work, have better needed competencies for college education and ready for global opportunities."
Science lessons of high school students, for one, will be based on its practical use.
"As students go up the ladder, we want them to learn skills that are being demanded by employers while at the same time giving them the chance to appreciate and enjoy the lessons," Luistro said.