Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (K+12): An Example of How Social Reconstructionist Conception and Sociological Foundation Affect the Curriculum

I have read in The Philippine Daily Inquirer that President Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 last May 15, 2013.  The law aims to make up for the shortcomings of the Philippines’ 10 year basic education cycle by adding three more years in the curriculum. (follow this link: What is k+12? )

As a parent, I foresee additional financial burden as a corollary of this K-12 program. At first, I was not convinced with Pres. Aquino’s aim of providing students ample time to acquire knowledge and skills. I believe that the K-12 program only solves issues on quantity but not on the quality of education. So I did my personal research on the issue even before the law was enacted.

I came across the writings of Former Education USEC Isagani Cruz. According to the article, CHED was rushing to push through with the K-12 reform in order to prepare for the 2015 opening of borders by 10 ASEAN countries. The Philippines is also preparing to join the 2020 APEC Trade Regime. These moves by our ASEAN neighbors mean that they will be opening their doors to foreign professionals for as long as these people meet the requirements of the accord set by the participating countries. There will be a mutual recognition of qualifications and degrees. A Filipino nurse for example, who passed all the professional requirements in the Philippines will no longer undergo redundant trainings and professional exams abroad. His degree in his homeland will be automatically recognized as long as he earned the number of education years required in the accord.

Our government has now started solving issues on the quantity of education. Sooner or later, problems regarding quality may also be addressed. K-12 may allow us to benefit from several accords on mutual recognition of decrees set up by other countries. (An example of this is the Washington Accord, 1989. It is an agreement among countries that allows a professional engineer to practice in another country as long as he meets the education requirement of 16 years.) This is the reason why there is a pressure on our Education Sector to align our education system with those of our neighboring countries.

If everything will work according to plan, our country will be able to send not only the less-skilled OFWs but also professionals who will generate more income. This will be a big help to our economy. Even our policy makers admit that we make use of our human resources to generate dollar reserves. Perhaps, this exploitation of our labor force is inevitable since we all want to save our ailing economy. Besides, Filipinos themselves, choose to work abroad for the betterment of their own families. I am not saying that the exodus of our skilled Filipinos is right. However, I cannot blame parents whose primary concern is to alleviate the hunger of their loved ones.


TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Isagani Cruz, “Education Reforms in thePhilippines”

What is k12?

Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (K+12) aims to make up for the shortcomings of the Philippines 10 year basic education cycle by adding three more years in the curriculum.
Enrollment in kindergarten is now compulsory. Grades 11 and 12 are added to high school education. The reform is aimed to better prepare our graduates making them highly competitive in the labor market. Mother tongue will be used as medium of instruction in grades 1 to 3. This is based on the assumption that using one’s lingua franca would allow a student to process ideas more easily. Still, English and Filipino subjects will be taught starting grade 1.
Subjects will be taught starting from simple concepts to more complex ones using the spiral progression approach. Before the implementation of K-12, high schools Sophomores study Biology, Juniors study Chemistry and Seniors study Physics. With K-12, these subjects will be integrated and connected to each other. As one DepEd official puts it, they will be literally tearing the textbooks apart. Then they will combine the basic concepts in these three sciences for the sophomores. Next, juniors will study the more complex concepts and so on.
I believe that the law will have minimal implications on TESDA or Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs since they will continue their operations. People who have not finished elementary or high school may continue to enroll on techvoc programs offered by TESDA. This will provide people who have not attended formal schooling the skills they need to earn a living.
CHED programs are now being revised. Some subjects are being removed shortening the General Education Curriculum or GEC from the previous two years to one year. After taking the GE subjects, students may pursue their major subjects for a minimum of two years or more depending on their course.
The government offsets problems in reduction of enrollment by creating tie ups with universities and colleges. CHED will provide the needed facilities and teaching force that will be needed by students in senior high school.
Subjects in Math, Science and Language will be strengthened in Grades 11 and 12 and students will undergo assessment tests that will guide them in choosing their specializations.
TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Module 9 – Criticizing my own work…

Faulty Sample Tests That I Constructed

I opted to use the subject Sped for module 9 simply because I already prepared some traditional tests that served as my reviewer in preparation for our objective exams last November 22. Much to my surprise, the tests that I made were poorly crafted and do not meet the standards in the pdf

The test questions I prepared were poorly crafted because the questions were copied from the resource materials verbatim. I learned that teachers should construct questions in their own words in order to discourage students from merely memorizing their learning materials.

Criticizing my work:
Below are the other test construction rules that were not followed.
“1. Avoid verbal clues which might enable students to select the correct answer or to eliminate an incorrect alternative.”
2. “Keep statements short and use simple language structure.”
3. “Is each test item independent and are the items, as a group, free from overlapping?” (Devine & Yaghlian)

Because I wanted to improve my skills, I decided to revise the whole sample test as a whole. Hence I arrived at a totally different assessment approach. Believing that my favorite teachers Teacher Malou and Ms. De Villa are the epitome of ideal teachers, I reflected on how they made learning fruitful for our class. I believe that I did not only learn theories from them but also practical and sensible applications of theories as shown by the way they managed our class.

My Sample Tests:
test 3

Planning and Creating Tests (Module 9)

Source: All the steps stated below were copied from the pdf Center for Teaching Excellence Test Construction Manual
Construction of Objective Tests by Professors Marjorie Devine & Nevart Yaghlian. I used their steps as my guide and put my own personal applications in the text boxes.
1. Planning for the test:

— Outline subject matter content to be considered as the basis for the test;

Subject Matter: Special Education on Principles of Universal Design & Magna Carta for the Welfare of People with Disabilities

– Identify learning outcomes to be measured by the test;

Learning Objectives: Students must learn all the principles in universal design and find relevance of such implementations in the Philippines. They must develop an awareness on the “true” plight of people with special disabilities in our local communities and see whether or not policies are implemented and whether or not PWDs truly enjoy their rights as stated in the republic acts enacted by our government .

–Prepare table of specifications.
–Choose appropriate type(s) of test items for evaluation of learning outcomes as
summarized in the table of specifications.

2. Preparing the test:
–Write test items according to rules of construction for the type(s) chosen.
–Select the items to be included in the test according to table of specifications.
–Review and edit items according to guidelines.
–Arrange items: decide on a) grouping of items, b) sequence of items within groups, c)
sequence of groupings.
–Prepare directions for the test; if necessary, prepare directions for individual items (e.g.,
matching type) or for sections (e.g., negative form of one-best response type).
–Decide on method of scoring.
Answers to question number 2 are inside the TOS box.
3. Analyzing and revising the test:
–Perform test analysis to determine difficulty, discrimination and reliability.
–Retain, edit as necessary, or discard items on basis of analysis outcomes.
–Revise the test as a whole if necessary.

Short Answer Test: 2points each.
1. Give at least 3 principles of universal design of instruction practiced in our class.
2. Cite one instance in our class where principles were ignored.
3. Choose one UD principle and explain how they are implemented in public places.
4. Choose one UD principle and explain how they are implemented in an open university like UPOU.
5. Which among the UD principles is the least feasible to implement?

Essay Test: Your answers must not be less than 30 words and not more than 100 words. 3 points each.
1. How does the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities improve the plight of persons with disabilities?
2. Is RA 7277 enough to meet the needs of people with special needs? Why?
3. If you were a congressman/ congresswoman, how will you revise our existing RA 7277? What modifications will you make and why?.
4. How has the view on people with disabilities changed through history?
5. Cite examples of classroom set-ups that do not practice UD principles. How will you modify these set-ups?

Devine, Marjorie & Yaghlian, Nevart. Center for Teaching Excellence Test Construction Manual Construction of Objective Tests. Retrieved from

Adult Learning & Assessment (My Reflections)

I was planning to join the optional group for adult learning and assessment. However, I was down with flu for more than a week and I think the group is no longer active. Hence, I have decided to post my reflections in my e-journal instead. I am posting this under the commentaries section because this showcases my observations on the comments of my classmates in the different virtual classes I have attended.

As what Aries have said in response to Pon’s query, adult learning covers a wide range of students. To be more specific, I opted to focus on continuing and distance education.

Observable issues within a virtual class:

1. Interaction is often a problem. While there will be times when a teacher gets a class that is quite energetic and where students actively participate in discussions without need for encouragement, there will also be times when a teacher will be faced with the additional burden of having to encourage students to participate actively. Often, I would come across posts that read “The open thread discussion is not a place for posting your outputs. It is a place for discussing with the rest of the class.”

The asynchronous mode of discussion poses another problem. When students (who asked a peer a question) finally decides to move on to the next lesson or chapter, communication between them ceases. Thus, by the time his/ her peer replies, the student may have already moved on to another discussion forum and may no longer return to the previous one. This defeats the purpose of forum discussions as a venue for intellectual interactions, hence, we often hear teachers complain that students make discussion fora simply a means for submitting assignments or answers.

I wish that the school develop a prompting system that automatically notifies a student as soon as a reply (in answer to the question/s he/ she posted) is received. If only we can develop a notification system that links students to question and answer discussions, then learning will be more effective. (For example, a pop-up message saying “Hi Tina! Your classmate posted an answer to your question in thread discussion 2, click this link to return to that site.”

2. Student attitude is another problem when assessing adult learning. Teachers cannot imagine how students will react. I am surprised at how adult persons, professionals, react when they are not satisfied with the grades given them by their teacher or when classmates oppose their views. These people end up ignoring the rules of netiquette. All they care about is to express their grievances and act like brats – inconsiderate of whomsoever might get hurt. This gave me the idea of including values and character in the overall grading criteria in online learning.

3. Social media is now becoming a tool for teacher-bullying. There is a new trend nowadays. Bullies have leveled up. Rather than bully fellow students, they now actively talk behind their teachers’ backs via social networking sites. I am not an active Facebook user but I have heard about this problem from quite a number of friends. This makes me think twice about teaching. I hope our schools can be more proactive in addressing such issues. Schools should realize that they have to protect teachers as well. The disrespect shown by adult students toward their teachers makes me realize how immature adult students can be. It is ironic how we study the Theories of Assessment yet act with childish contempt every time we feel discontented with the way we are being assessed. If we fail to respect our teachers and classmates because of some issues on instruction and evaluation, it only shows that we have not learned even a bit from the speeches of Ms. Erica Goldson in the article “Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech” and of Mr. Alfie Kohn in “What Does It Mean to Be Well-Educated?”


Goldson, Erica, “Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech”

Kohn, Alfie, “What Does It Mean to Be Well-Educated?” retrieved September 18, 2013 from

Thank You!!!

thank you

To my teacher Malou, to my classmates, to the three hundred ninety – seven viewers who took the time to read my blog and to my blogger classmates who enriched my knowledge with their mind – nourishing posts, thanks for another wonderful learning experience. I hope to have you as my teacher again next term Teacher Malou and I hope you will still want to have me in your class. 🙂 As you have said, time flies so quickly and I almost could not wait to put all that I have learned from your class and from my peers into practice. The few terms I have spent in UPOU has armed me with the knowledge, confidence and realizations that I believe will allow me to be a more effective, concerned and productive member of the academe/ educational system.

Salamat po! 🙂


Photo of cute cat retrieved from