President Benigno S. Aquino III strongly believes that the twelve years of formal education Filipinos have been used to are still not enough, considering the growing rate of both local unemployment and underemployment. A lot of Pinoys who are more dependable on physical labor would rather go to first-world countries and get paid higher as a blue-collar employee, unlike in their home country wherein white collar jobs make more money. More often than not, these are people who couldn’t afford to pursue their studies in any of the nation’s top colleges and universities. Another easy way out of poverty or life in debt is seeking employment opportunities that entail direct interaction with foreigners despite the toxic schedules that come in the package such as careers in the business process outsourcing, travel and tourism, and the hospitality industries.
With the newly-implemented educational system in the country more popularly known as the K-12, students will be spending an additional year in high school (starting at Grade 7) and their senior year twice. Schooling begins at kindergarten, then Grades 1-6, then Grade 7 to the first three years of high school (a.k.a. Grades 7-10), and finally, two senior years in secondary education (Grades 11-12). The expected positive effects brought by this change include a more regularized pacing of the overall curriculum (no longer compressed to fit a shorter learning period), more time to prepare for chosen careers during senior years skills training, and a self-confidence boost among Pinoy high school graduates to apply for entry-level jobs like their counterparts in Western countries.
The idea of pushing K-12 for Philippine education is nothing new according to DepEd, because this has been proposed as early as 1925. The need was only seen much later as the Philippines has been left behind by its Asian neighbors for being the only one to retain a 10-year program on basic education. K-12 is being regarded as the solution in order to produce more globally competent individuals with the quality of time and teaching it provides (parents now pay tuition fees for more quality than just quantity), and there are much greater chances for them to contribute to the Philippine’s economic progress.