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K+12 = More of the Same Rotten System and Colonial Mentality

In its DISCUSSION PAPER ON THE ENHANCED K+12 BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAM, 05 October 2010 (, the DepEd's argument for a 12-year basic education is that the rest of the world-or the moneyed-is doing it.

What a glaring tu quoque fallacy! Hello, just because everyone's doing K+12 doesn't mean that we should also follow it.

The DepEd even cites PNoy: "We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding."

DepEd admits the low quality of basic education, but is deafeningly silent on why it is so. Instead, it enumerates the promises of K+12.

But it's elementary that you first need to fully know what's broken so you can make the proper fix.

PNoy should also visit the Central Visayan Institute Foundation in Jagna, Bohol, to see for himself how wrong he is.

CVIF is a rural high school where almost all of its students come from poverty-challenged families. And yet its graduates are already scoring high in national achievement tests and getting into top universities like U.P. and even the University of California at Berkeley.

What differentiates CVIF is its revolutionary system called "Dynamic Learning Program" (DLP). And DLP is Pinoy-na-Pinoy, developed by our very own Filipino theoretical physicists and 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Marivic Carpio-Bernido.

The citation of Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation reads in part:

"xxx In 2002, they introduced a revolutionary way of teaching science and non-science subjects, which they called CVIF Dynamic Learning Program (DLP). A cost-effective strategy focused on strong fundamentals, it limits teacher participation by devoting seventy percent of class time to student-driven activities built around clear learning targets, aided by well-designed learning plans and performance-tracking tools. The program uses locally available teaching aids and a 'parallel classes scheme,' in which three simultaneous classes are handled by one expert teacher with the help of facilitators."

"In designing DLP, the Bernidos wanted to show that poverty need not be an excuse to compromise on teaching and learning excellence. The results proved them right. In the years that followed, CVIF students showed radical improvement in their performance on national scholastic aptitude and university admissions tests. CVIF is a small school of only five hundred, mostly-poor students. But the significance of what the Bernidos initiated quickly spread throughout the country. The school attracted national attention, and educators from over three hundred schools visited CVIF to learn about its program."

Thus, unless DepEd fully understands why the country's basic education is broken, it will never get the right fix. And K-12 will only result in more of the same rotten system, and worse, colonial mentality.