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K12 curriculum makes no homework policy impossible - ACT

Press Release
August 28, 2019

QUEZON CITY – As legislators and officials speak out against homework, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines raised that homework has become an inevitable part of teachers’ and students’ work due to the ‘unrealistic’ K12 curriculum, which the group says begs to be reviewed thoroughly to address the program’s many problems.

“K12 was an experiment that tried to integrate a little bit of everything in a complicated manner, while leaving no ample time for mastery of subjects and development of critical thinking. Further, the range of topics and competencies set by the K to 12 curriculum are impossible to cover within formal class hours, resulting to added and beyond-school hour work for both teachers and students,” explained ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez.

Martinez further explained that K to 12 follows an outcome-based education (OBE) framework where students’ learning is measured by their outputs. This, says Martinez, demands that students produce several and varied forms of outputs for the assigned topic of the day, which teachers are required to design and facilitate via their daily lesson logs (DLL).

“For example, our DLL should indicate that a certain topic should be covered within, say, an hour. Such should entail a discussion or input part from the teacher and multiple activities to ensure learners are engaged, like reporting, skits, writing, poster-making, and many others,” shared Martinez.

Martinez added that research work, which is done outside of class hours, has also been made heavier on both teachers and students under K to 12 due to the still severely lacking learning materials despite its 7-year implementation.

“Students have more than one class and therefore are required to cover several topics and competencies daily. No amount of ‘budgeting of work’ can force students and teachers alike to accomplish more than what is realistically doable in a set period of time, hence the need to take home their school work,” explained Martinez.

For teachers’ part, Martinez said that they too are pressured to issue homework to ensure the completion of their DLL, as it is part of their performance evaluation.

It is this context, continued Martinez, that forces teachers and students alike to render overtime school work.

“So hear us when we say that we are not issuing homework to burden our students. It is demanded of us by the K12 program, so much that our performance evaluation system ensures its implementation. It is therefore unfair for DepEd to claim that they are ‘discouraging homework’ through several policies, because the agency’s main curriculum is the culprit behind this added work,” declared Martinez.

The group further denounced the proposed bill which included a penalty of Php50,000 and/or 1 to 2-year jail sentence to teachers who will require homework from students, saying that it passes on the blame to teachers who are ‘as much a victim to the faults of K12 as students.’

“The K to 12 curriculum is impractically-paced and does not serve the needs and aspirations of not only our students but of the nation. This is at the heart of the problem when we talk about quality education,” hit Martinez.

ACT urged Congress that more than the homework issue, it should do a comprehensive assessment and review of the K12 program, including its curriculum to see its many flaws, which are seen to cause further decline in the quality of education.