Amend K-to-12: insert pre-university course
Instead of the additional two “senior high school” years, a 2-year National Baccalaureate Program (NBP), our version of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme should be required of all college- or university-bound students.
The NBP would consist of the general education and introductory courses that should provide a solid foundation for university education and create a holistic person. The NBP should be offered by colleges and universities as a pre-college requirement. (And an equivalent 2-year introductory course should also be required of all vocational/trade school-focused students, to be offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority).
With this pre-university, post-high school (after K-to-10) structure, parents who cannot afford two more years of senior high school are assured of a high school diploma for their children. It also “multi-solves” certain concerns:
(1 ) Only those going to college (or beyond high school) will do 12 years of pre-university or basic education.
(2) Inasmuch as these two years of NBP will decidedly be handled by seasoned college or university professors, the proposal allays apprehensions, even fears, about ill-prepared public school teachers’ teaching our general education courses, about retrenchment, budget, curriculum, facilities, etc.
(3) The proposal will eliminate the projected 2-year hiatus in college teaching in 2016-2018, which is expected to result from the lack of high school graduates and, by implication, render many colleges and universities partly irrelevant for at least two years.
(4) With the general education and introductory courses covered by the NBP, the three years designated by the CHEd (Commission on Education) memo of February 2011 for bachelor’s degrees can then concentrate on major courses.
(5) For students pursuing courses abroad, the 10-year original basic education (K-to-10) plus the 2-year NBP would ensure compliance with the Washington Accord, the Bologna Accord, and the “Asean Agreement.”
(6) Most especially, the NBP proposal will afford opportunities to strengthen the general education program and design it as an academically challenging and balanced program of education in the humanities, social sciences, the natural sciences and mathematics; that will prepare students for success at university and beyond.
—ADELAIDA F. LUCERO, PhD, [email protected]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.