The K to 12 Basic Education Program was introduced in the educational arena with the best intentions. As seen, it is now making careful small strides toward the fulfillment of its objectives. However, there are still challenges besetting its implementation. The foreseen issues are still prevalent from inception up to the present time. This is the reason why learners in the program are not fully benefitting from it. There are also hitches that emerge which were not anticipated before the program was pursued.

              Although challenges keep on arising day in and day out, we cannot the fact that the purpose is really laudable. As a matter of fact, despite the challenges that the program is facing, it is still making its baby steps towards fruition. A lot of preparations were made before but it seems that the efforts are not enough. As experienced in the field, there are still dearth on the learning materials and teaching aids, shortage of facilities like instructional classrooms, laboratories and chairs and the likes are not enough. The privation of technological resources to effect dramatic change on the lives of the K to 12 learners is of utmost importance, too. The wanting for additional mentors with expertise for quality delivery of service is also very essential. In terms of the aforementioned needs, the service providers’ facilities should be at par with the planning standard. It should have tools, equipment, and necessary teaching and learning materials that are at least comparable to the industry for vocational tracks. They should be suited properly to whatever course or track the students have been envisioned to become.

             But above all these, foremost and primordial is the training and competence of teachers in the offered tracks. They are the department’s front liners. As embodied in DepEd’s VMO, so much is expected of them. In other countries, teachers should have acquired least five-year work experience in the industry in order for them to qualify for a teaching job. This might be hard to require for teachers in this country but at least they should undergo capacity building program and be given a privilege to experience the “whats and the hows in the field”. In this way, they will be able to hand down the proper technological know-how needed by the learners.

              Furthermore, inviting technical experts on the different tracks will be of great help also. The existing problem on the lack of knowledge and expertise of those who are assigned in imparting skills to their wards is very much evident in the performance of the learners. Remember the adage, “you cannot give what you do not have” is still very true. Feedback of the trainers of these teachers sent to trainings is that the trainees had limited or are barely knowledgeable on their area. To think that the span of training they had been given is just a matter of days only which we all know is not really enough to at least thoroughly learn what they need to know. This is one of the issues why graduates hardly get employment after finishing the K to 12 Basic Education Program. According to research findings, employers are hesitant to hire our graduates for lack of knowledge and skills of the so called 21st century skills.

              It is this light that law makers are trying to bridge the gap in the implementation of K to 12 BEP. The House of Congress is allocating 800 million additional budget to DepEd for the improvement of the program. They saw the insufficiency of the present amount of fund for the effective implementation of the Basic Education Program. This additional fund is meant to augment the number of equipment needed and capacity building program for teachers. Hopefully, with this initiative, this will help enable the graduates to be accepted in the world of employment after graduation.

             Everybody is invited to take part in this laudable undertaking and to continue hoping and be vigilant that each and every one of us will contribute to the success of this educational reform and transformation.  —By: Mary Ann A. Papica, Ed.D., PSDS