K to 12 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the K to 12 Program?
The K to 12 Program covers 13 years of basic education:
- 1 year of Kindergarten
- 6 years of primary education
- 4 years of Junior High School
- 2 years of Senior High School
Why are we now implementing 12 years of basic education?
- The Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle (Angola and Djibouti are the other two).
- A 12-year program is found to be the best period for learning under basic education. It is also the recognized standard for students and professionals globally.
What has been done to get ready for K to 12? Are we really ready for K to 12?
- SY 2011-2012: Universal Kindergarten implementation begins
- SY 2012-2013: Enhanced curriculum for Grades 1-7 implemented
- 2013: K to 12 enacted into Law
- 2014: Curriculum for Grades 11-12 finished
This 2015, we are getting ready for the implementation of Senior High School (SHS) in SY 2016-2017
We are on the fifth year of the implementation of the K to 12 Program. Our last mile is the Senior High School. All 220 divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd) have finished planning and have figures on enrolment a year in advance. These plans were reviewed by a separate team and finalized upon consultation with other stakeholders.
- Classrooms: DepEd has built 66,813 classrooms from 2010 to 2013. There are 33,608 classrooms completed and undergoing construction in 2014. As of March 11, 2015 DepEd is planning to establish at least 5,216 Senior High Schools nationwide. On March 31, 2015, DepEd has issued provisional permits to private schools set to offer Senior High School in 2016.
- Teachers: From 2010-2014, DepEd has filled 128,055 new teacher items. DepEd is targeting two kinds of teachers: those who will teach the core subjects, and those who will teach the specialized subjects per track. DepEd will hire 30,000 teachers for Senior High School for 2016 alone.
- Textbooks: Learning materials are being produced for elementary to junior high while textbooks for Senior High School (which has specialized subjects) are being bid out.
- Curriculum: The K to 12 curriculum is standards- and competence-based. It is inclusive and built around the needs of the learners and the community. The curriculum is done and is available on the DepEd website. It is the first time in history that the entire curriculum is digitized and made accessible to the public.
Private SHS: There are 1,456 private schools with permits to operate SHS and over a thousand more applications being processed
What is Senior High School?
Senior High School (SHS) covers the last two years of the K to 12 program and includes Grades 11 and 12. In SHS, students will go through a core curriculum and subjects under a track of their choice.
Will SHS mean two more years of High School?
Yes. These two additional years will equip learners with skills that will better prepare them for the future, whether it be:
- Skills Development (Further Tech-Voc training)
- Higher Education (College)
Will SHS ensure employment for me?
SHS cannot guarantee employment; but it creates the following opportunities:
- Standard requirements will be applied to make sure graduates know enough to be hirable.
- You will now be able to apply for TESDA Certificates of Competency (COCs) and National Certificates (NCs) to provide you with better work opportunities.
- Partnerships with different companies will be offered for technical and vocational courses.
- You can now get work experience while studying; and companies can even hire you after you graduate.
Entrepreneurship courses will now be included. Instead of being employed, you can choose to start your own business after graduating, or choose to further your education by going to college.
How will SHS affect my college education?
- SHS, as part of the K to 12 Basic Curriculum, was developed in line with the curriculum of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) – the governing body for college and university education in the Philippines.
- This ensures that by the time you graduate from Senior High School, you will have the standard knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to go to college.
Is SHS really necessary? Must I go to SHS?
Yes, according to the law. Beginning SY 2016-2017, you must go through Grades 11 and 12 to graduate from High School.
If I choose not to go to SHS, what happens to me?
You will be a grade 10 completer, but not a high school graduate. Elementary graduates are those who finish grade 6; high school graduates must have finished grade 12.
Where can I find out more about SHS?
You can find out more at deped.gov.ph and on the DepEd social media accounts. You can also ask your school administration (public or private) to contact the DepEd division office to help organize an orientation seminar.
What will I learn in SHS that the current high school curriculum doesn’t include?
Senior High School covers eight learning areas as part of its core curriculum, and adds specific tracks (similar to college courses) based on four disciplines:
- Academic (which includes Business, Science & Engineering, Humanities & Social Science, and a General Academic strand)
- Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (with highly specialized subjects with TESDA qualifications)
- Arts & Design
SHS Students may pick a track based on how he or she will want to proceed after high school graduation. You can learn more about the tracks and strands (as well as their curriculum) on deped.gov.ph.
Where will Senior High School be implemented? Will my school offer SHS?
- Existing public and private schools, including colleges, universities and technical institutions may offer Senior High School.
- There may also be stand-alone Senior High Schools established by DepEd or private organizations
Will the additional two years of High School mean additional expenses?
Senior High School “completes” basic education by making sure that the high school graduate is equipped for work, entrepreneurship, or higher education. This is a step up from the 10-year cycle where high school graduates still need further education (and expenses) to be ready for the world.
SHS will be offered free in public schools and there will be a voucher program in place for public junior high school completers as well as ESC beneficiaries of private high schools should they choose to take SHS in private institutions.
This means that the burden of expenses for the additional two years need not be completely shouldered by parents.
What is the Voucher Program?
- The SHS Voucher program is a way to support public school grade 10 completers who are enrolling in private senior high schools. A certain amount will be subsidized by DepEd to private SHS to offset the cost of tuition.
Can I apply and be a recipient of the Voucher Program? How much are the Vouchers worth?
- All Grade 10 students who graduate from public junior high schools are qualified to receive the full voucher values.
- Private junior high school completers who are on Education Service Contracting (ESC) grants will receive 80% of the full voucher value.
- Graduates of private schools and non-DepEd schools can also apply for vouchers worth 80% of the full voucher value.
- The actual amount of the vouchers will depend on the location of the SHS
What are the advantages of the Voucher Program?
- For Students
The voucher program can provide high-quality education for all types of students. Even those who normally do not have the financial means will be able to choose from different schools. They will not be limited to the schools that are provided by the DepEd.
- For Private Schools
Private schools with SHS will be able to tap into an expanded market -- students from public junior high schools
But are we really sure that it will work in the Philippine education system?
In SY 2012-2013, DepEd tested the SHS program to over 10,000 students in a total of 56 schools around the Philippines. The results of this modelling program, including best practices and learning experiences of students, have influenced the creation of the current SHS curriculum.
Which private institutions are allowed to offer Senior High School?
- All schools and organizations must first apply for a permit from DepEd. Different institutions may also partner with each other and apply for SHS as a group.
- Temporary permits will be issued by DepEd for those who meet the requirements for the Senior High School Program.
- There are 334 private schools with SHS permits beginning in SY 2014 or 2015. Last March 31, 2015, provisional permits have been issued to 1,122 private schools that will offer Senior High School in 2016.
- If you are interested in applying for a Senior High School permit, please visit: https://bit.ly/AppGuidelinesforSHS
How can I help improve basic education?
- Private partners can donate through the Adopt-A-School program. A 150% tax incentive will be provided for every contribution.
- Help spread awareness and information on the K to 12 Program.
How will SHS Affect me? Will I lose my Job?
- No high school teachers will be displaced
- The Department of Education (DepEd) is in constant coordination with CHED and DOLE on the actual number of affected faculty from private higher education institutions (HEIs). The worst-case scenario is that 39,000 HEI faculty will lose their jobs over 5 years. This will only happen if none of the HEIs will put up their own Senior High Schools, which is since we are currently processing over 1,000 SHS applications from private institutions.
- DepEd is also hiring more than 30,000 new teachers in 2016 alone. The Department will prioritize affected faculty who will apply as teachers or administrators in our SHS.
I am a graduate of a science/math/engineering/course. Can I apply as an SHS teacher?
- If you are willing to teach on a part-time basis, you will not be required to take and pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).
- If you want a permanent position, you will need to take and pass the LET within five years after your date of hiring to remain employed full-time.
I am a hired TVI course graduate/HEI faculty/practitioner.
Can I apply as an SHS teacher?
- Graduates of technical-vocational courses must have the necessary certification issued by TESDA and undergo training to be administered by DepEd or HEIs.
- Faculty of colleges and universities must be full-time professors and be holders of a relevant Bachelor’s degree.
- DepEd and private schools may also hire practitioners with expertise in the specialized learning areas offered by the K to 12 Program as part-time teachers.
*Faculty of TVIs and HEIs will be given priority in hiring for the transition period from September 2013 until SY 2021-2022.
I am a practitioner. Can I apply as an SHS teacher?
- You may teach as part-time teacher in Senior High School under the track subjects. We encourage you to consider this to share your valuable knowledge and experience to our SHS learners.
How will K to 12 affect the college curriculum?
- The College General Education curriculum will have fewer units. Subjects that have been taken up in Basic Education will be removed from the College General Education curriculum.
- Details of the new GE Curriculum may be found in CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, series of 2013.
I’ve been hearing that a lot of people have not been consulted regarding K to 12. Is this true?
DepEd has always been transparent in the planning and implementation of K to 12. There have been regular consultations with various sectors since 2010, before the law was passed, during the crafting of the IRR, and during implementations. DepEd representatives have also attended various fora and conferences, including legislative inquiries, regarding K to12. We are open to criticisms and suggestions regarding this.
Why not just realign the K to 12 budget to increase teachers’ salaries?
There is no "K to 12" item in the national budget per se. The ongoing implementation of the K to 12 Program involves the provision of basic inputs such as classrooms, teacher items, textbooks, school seats, and toilets. There are also items in the budget for computerization of classrooms, science and math equipment, and teacher training. K to 12 is a reform in the manner and content of education; it is not a single project with a line item budget.
There are also ongoing discussions taking place regarding a raise in the salary of public school teachers and all other government employees.