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|IMPLICATIONS OF THE K+12 CURRICULUM ON AUP ACADEMY|
|Written by email@example.com|
|Monday, 03 October 2011 13:04|
When all systems will be in place, this school year’s first year high school students will be the last batch to graduate in the Academy within four years. The first year high school students next school year 2012-2013 will finish high school in 6 years.
Academy teachers together with other secondary teachers from both public and private schools nationwide have been attending seminars and workshops on new approaches in teaching to adapt to the demands of the K+12 curriculum. Since early this year there have been around 5-7 conventions, focus group discussions and training programs conducted by DepEd, the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE), and the Association of Private schools to immerse teachers and school heads in the awareness and principles and procedures of the inevitable K+12 curriculum.
With K+12 being implemented in 2016, private academies especially those operating without a college will have a problem finding ways and means to hire new teachers and construct more classrooms for grades 11 and 12. For college attached Academies such as AUPA, there could be several options while during the years 2016 to 2018 there may be no college freshmen enrollees.
1. Teachers presently teaching first year and second year college may be assigned to teach senior high school (Grades 11 and 12), since the subjects they teach are preparatory and general subjects. For students who would like to proceed to college they may choose preparatory subjects for a college degree. Those who would like to find a job instead of proceeding to college after senior high school may take subjects on vocational, technical and entrepreneurial skills. A separate senior high school principal may be appointed coming from the college; and college classrooms and facilities will be used. The problem, however, is that most of the college teachers, despite having MA degrees do not have PRC teaching licenses. Since grades 11 and 12 will be parts of basic education, all teachers should have licenses by passing the Licensure Exam for Teachers administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).
2. A second option is that the Academy will be allowed to hire additional high school teachers with PRC licenses. And that the Board and University administration will support the construction of the Academy multi-level library building to accommodate all high school students of the Junior and Senior High School under one school principal.
3. The entire basic education curriculum from Kindergarten or Pre-school, Elementary, Junior and Senior High School could be under one director or principal with a principal/asst. principal or coordinator for each area.
4. AUP may implement a merger of all three and others
While it is true that the K+12 curriculum may produce more mature and more equipped and qualified high school graduates for job opportunities and better college materials, the new scheme may turn out to be a disadvantage to the Academy in some areas, aside from financial constraints on parents and the school. At present there is a very strong faculty line-up in the Academy: all 27 teachers have PRC licenses to teach; 16 have MA degrees and 6 have doctoral units, but the Academy does not have enough classrooms to accommodate a senior high school. In fact many of the Academy facilities are still located in the University gymnasium; this includes the library, computer laboratory and internet center along with the three sections of the first year level.
The proposed K+12 curriculum of the Philippines Department of Education will greatly and directly affect the entire operation of the Academy and most likely the entire University in the next 5-7 years; one area is the enrollment of foreign students. For the past 5 years AUP Academy’s average enrollment has been 500+ with an average of 24% foreign students. The primary reason why foreigners come to the Philippines is that they save 1-2 years of high school so that they can proceed to college at an earlier age. They come to AUP Academy because the school is one of only a few Academies that are recognized by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation to accept foreign students. It is a fact that the Philippines is one of the only 5 countries in the world, (the other four being Rwanda, Mongolia, Bhutan and North Korea), with 10 years basic education. Most countries have 11-13 years (preschool or kindergarten, 6 years elementary, 3 years middle school and 3 years high school or 8 years elementary and 4 years high school, or 6 years elementary, 4 years junior high and 2 years senior high). Since the K+12 curriculum will add more years to the Philippines’ basic education, it is presumed that less foreign students will enroll in the Academy since the number of high school years will just be the same as in their respective countries, and that would be a glaring 24% decrease in the enrollment specifically an average of 125 students missing each year.
Another significant implication would be the decrease in the college enrollment (aside from the two years without freshmen and sophomore enrollees because they are still in high school) since high school graduates will be more qualified to work, they may postpone for a while going to college if they would pursue a college degree at all; when this happens our marketing and promotional strategies and facilities must appear very attractive and competitive with the growing number of Higher Education Institutions mushrooming nearby, because when enrollment decreases, all resources including the most potent which is the human resource will suffer; if not there is also a possibility for the cost of a college education not only in AUP but in the whole Philippines to be as expensive as a college education in the US or other countries.
With all the threats and opportunities manifested by the K+12 curriculum to the Adventist Christian education offered by AUP Academy and AUP; strategic planning and vision at this point in time should not be taken for granted by all sectors not only by the Academy, and the University leaders but also the teachers, parents and students, albeit, when we include God in our plans we Christians have nothing to fear for the future, except if we forget how the Lord has led us in the past…
In this light and in line with career guidance which is one of the features of K+12; beginning next school year the Academy will be offering 10 hours/week of specialized programs (of the students’ choice) in music, arts, sports, journalism, engineering science, and vocational/technology in lieu of the subjects TLE/Computer and a decrease in the number of hours/week of mandated subjects. Along with this is the change in the grading system whereby numbers and letters will be replaced by words such as Advanced, Proficient, Approaching Proficiency, and Below Proficiency. Details will be discussed in the next HSA meetings; everyone is encouraged to prepare for the impending changes.