Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III approved Wednesday a law reforming the country's basic education system.
The Republic Act 10533 otherwise known as the Enhanced Education Act of 2013 seeks to institutionalize the "K to 12 program," which started last school year.
The law added two more years on basic education and mandated the establishment of a universal kindergarten in public and private schools. The law also required teaching fundamental lessons in the mother tongues of the students during the first three years of elementary education and enhancing knowledge transfer of Filipino, English, Math, and Science lessons to junior high school students.
The Philippines has only a 10-year basic education cycle prior to the implementation of K to 12 program. Aquino said that a 10- year education cycle was an "educational handicap" for Filipino students.
Apart from our students having less time to thoroughly understand their lessons, our students will also have to compete with graduates from other countries who have had more time to learn and prepare for their careers.
While delivering a speech during the signing ceremony in Malacanang, the presidential palace, Aquino said by establishing senior high schools where students can choose specialized tracks in academics, technical education and sports and arts, the government is "guaranteeing that they (students) are ready to take that next step to move them closer to their dreams."
Aquino assured that the government is serious in providing universal quality education by increasing the budget allocated for the education department. Since his election as president in 2010, Aquino said he had increased the Department of Education's budget from 161 billion pesos (3.91 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010 to over 232 billion pesos (5.64 billion U.S. dollars) this year. Endi