DepEd: What Are They Planning?

While the controversial Corona impeachment trial went on with little to no observable progress, the Department of Education had come up with a controversy of its own; albeit inconspicuous to Filipinos whose attentions are glued to PNoy’s holy crusade to allegedly bring Arroyo and her lackeys to justice. Manila Bulletin reported the following last January 24, 2012:

“The Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to drop “Science” from the roster of subjects taken up by incoming Grade 1 pupils in line with its efforts to decongest the Basic Education Curriculum and to make learning more enjoyable to young learners.”

Moreover, Education Secretary Armin Luistro argues that such steps were taken in accordance with the K+12 curriculum, “based on the idea that we should be taking the students where they are.”

Luistro attempted to give DepEd’s drastic measure some merit by insisting that Science concepts will be integrated in first graders’ subjects anyway, although they will no longer have an actual science subject. According to the article, the subjects for first graders under the new K+12 curriculum would be:

“…Mother Tongue, Filipino, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao, Music, Art, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH), Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan, and English – which will be taught in the second semester and will mainly focus on oral fluency.”

Finally, it has been stated that the Science subject will instead be introduced in the third grade, while Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan and Technology and Livelihood Education will be taken up fourth and sixth grade, respectively.

(To read the actual article, visit this link.)

Indeed, it is quite harrowing to visualize the morbid picture of our current educational system. With the intention of making learning “more enjoyable to students,” DepEd had the audacity to actually remove one of the core fields of knowledge in a child’s primary education. Another unsettling thing in this blunder of DepEd is the sheer ambiguity of the provisions of the K+12 curriculum regarding the removal of the Science subject. Luistro maintains that while Science will cease to be an actual subject for first graders, science concepts will be introduced in their remaining subjects.

Does Luistro realize the chaotic implications of his statement? First and foremost, what exactly are the parameters in implementing this policy? To what extent should these “concepts” be integrated in the other subjects? How often should they be integrated? What is the scope of the concepts to be integrated? The fact that Luistro didn’t even allude to such important factors makes this atrocious move of DepEd’s even less credible.

What’s even more worrying is how first-grade students will receive such pandemonium. What if you’re discussing Philippine history, when suddenly the teacher sidetracks the lesson to scientific concepts? The bigger problem is that, since the students do not have a solid background on science, discussions will be filled with confusion on what the teacher is actually talking about, and why he or she is talking about it in the first place. Have Luistro and the Department even given these implications a single thought, before recklessly twisting our educational system?

Another ambiguity demonstrated by Luistro is the Department’s intention in abolishing Science as part of the curriculum for first-graders. What exactly did he mean by “taking the students where they are?” Where exactly are they, and in what terms? For something as crucial as education, Luistro’s vagueness in his justifications hardly gave DepEd’s decision any credence.

Given the facts laid in front of us, it is right, necessary even, to infer from what we have gathered regarding this issue. Just what is DepEd planning to do? On the top of my head, I can think of at least three major possibilities:

1. That DepEd is really just after the student’s enjoyment in school, like what Luistro asserted. But what makes this goal unsavoury is that a solid ground in basic scientific knowledge is being sacrificed for the sake of “enjoyment.” This is a false dichotomy; maximizing a student’s enjoyment in learning does not necessitate removing a cornerstone of basic knowledge. It necessitates proper teaching and its maintenance. To ignore this will betray DepEd’s laziness to set things right, and instead will go for the easy way and outright abolish the subject, in the guise of “making learning more fun for students.”

2. That DepEd is starting its own nationalism campaign. You will notice that in place of Science, Mother Tongue has been listed as one of the subjects for the first-grade level, with Filipino as a separate subject. Won’t this make learning Filipino superfluous? I do not have issues with aiming to enlighten the youth in the Filipino language and culture, but is this cause worthy enough to set aside a subject that helped civilization throughout the course of its existence? Does DepEd prioritize nationalism over science? Should this be the actual objective of DepEd, we just might have a case of misplaced priorities here.

3. That DepEd might be on a dumbing-down campaign. From the K+12 curriculum that punishes families while doing nothing substantial about the deteriorating quality of education in the Philippines, now we have the abolition of Science as a subject. Is DepEd deliberately making decent education increasingly inaccessible to the average Juan? This supposition might border on conspiracy theory, but, given the circumstances, we cannot dismiss the possibility, or even the probability of this idea. Is the government pursuing the gradual “dumbing down” of the masses for some ulterior motive?

For the time being, our speculations will remain as plain speculations. However, this one thing is true; Philippine education is slowly going down the drain. This fact is reason enough for us to call for a close scrutiny of what has become of our society, its root causes, and what can be done to resolve such issues. Problems like education transcend the trivialities churned out by mainstream media, ranging from Kris Aquino’s drivel to PNoy’s uninteresting love life.

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About Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

Post Author: Arche

I'm just throwing ideas around. I also love coffee.

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73 Comments on "DepEd: What Are They Planning?"

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Gregory Macaltao
Guest

This is worrisome indeed.

I checked the US’ and Canada’s K12 curriculum. Science is introduced as early as kindergarten.

I can’t understand why science is being introduced formally in Grade 3? Could it be that there’s a religious agenda here by the DepEd secretary? Being a religious person, he might not be so thrilled about science.

Gregory Macaltao
Guest

Here’s a link to the curriculum package in British Columbia, Canada:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/gc.php?lang=en

kabayongtao
Guest

Impressive, I must say.

But I prefer this.

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/curriculum/science/units/elementary/

palebrowndot
Guest

while political stories in this country is scary enough, this monkeying around with our educational system by removing one of the basis for our civilization to move forward is most terrifying. if migrating to other countries is impossible as of the moment, parents must decide for home schooling instead…

Prudence
Guest

If this would be the educational system when I already have kids, I’d definitely opt for homeschooling.

And why the need for a “Mother Tongue” subject in school? Can’t these be learned at home? Or maybe incorporated in Filipino subject?

The problem perhaps is that our present teachers cannot find a way to teach science in an enjoyable way. Also, we cannot make the good, skilled teachers stay because of the meager pay.

rubberkid
Guest

Or maybe there aren’t enough teachers who are qualified to teach Science?

A
Guest

1) importance of mother tongue fluency has solid research. kids’ cognition and new language acquisition is way better if this is mastered first.

what’s happening before: children were being forced to study in a language not used at home nor outside the classroom; hence, the decline in both academic performance and cognitive abilities. and it doesn’t get any better as the years passed.

filipino is not the only mother tongue in the philippines. there’s cebuano, kapampangan, bikolano, etc.

andrew
Guest
jay
Guest

napoleon in essence said
‘ to control the masses, keep them poor, religious, entertained, and uneducated – then they are subservient, grateful and no threat to the staus quo’

domo
Guest

Removing that subject makes the children even more dumber, moronic and god delusional.

Marionette Jones
Guest

I happened to ENJOY our science classes at first grade. I say they should keep it. History, although arguably necessary, is such a bore. I do agree that most Filipinos can’t actually talk properly in the mother tongue. For a language that can be easily spelled, many use jejemon. That saddens me.

Prudence
Guest

Yes, I did enjoy my science classes too. And the interest is cultivated initially at home. The problem is some of the parents, themselves, are not interested in it.

Trosp
Guest

Funny, in Singapore, they’re teaching area calculation in preschool.

Carles Xabier
Guest

History is very important for us. How can we learn from our mistakes and how can we move forward if you ignore history? Great nations such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc. are progressive despite on the current economic crisis because they cherish their own history. History promotes nationalism and social awareness but unfortunately many history and social studies teachers lecture on people, time and place. History should be taught on how and why.

Carles Xabier
Guest

Science, mathematics, language and history are very important for Grade One students. The English language should be taught from the secondary up to the tertiary level. Most of all, the Spanish language should be restored by reviving the Cuenco law that requires schools, colleges and universities to teach Spanish to all students.

P.S. Spanish-style education is applicable in our educational system because we are Hispanized Malays or Hispanics.

christy
Guest
When everyone around the world is striving hard to speak fluent English, why make it compulsory now to learn Spanish? How does that provide one a job abroad unless one strives to work in Spanish-speaking countries- which is not often likely? This is just counter-progressive as well as irrelevant. Instead, why can’t Tagalog/Filipino subject just be introduced to us non-tagalog speakers in the secondary schools? A lot of the dialects are dying thanks to the imposed nationalistic front of many ignoys who believe that being a true filipino is to speak tagalog only. Being able to speak tagalog won’t necessarily… Read more »
ahehe
Guest

India’s Vedic Math looks awesome, imo.

PHguy
Guest

Dialects? You mean languages, right?

Que
Guest

I’m assuming Edukasyong Pagpapakatao talks about values? They placed values ed first before Science. Isn’t it something first learned at home? I find it absurd that they’d rather introduce Science in the later years than start sooner. Isn’t it one of the basics, together with Mathematics? Really, what’s DepEd up to? I can’t think of anything but to further degrade the value of education of the next generation.

Pete
Guest

As a teacher, I think public school system needs to emphasize values education because most of students today are rude and do not respect to the elderly and teachers. And as a teacher who really experiences what happens in school, I will really prefer values ed being taught throughout their whole schooling life than science.

andrew
Guest

“studens are rude”
the product of the american influence.
Finnish students respect their teachers (well respected job in their country)

rodolfo albuera jr
Guest

Science ang pinaka interesting at pinaka masayang subject of learning especially for children…hayzzz so much of daang matuwid 🙁

Dale Mendoza
Guest
more ENJOYABLE?!?!?!?!?!?! is this an insinuation that science is not an enjoyable subject?…do you want to rate the subjects that are enjoyable to kids? try filipino…how many kids “love” and enjoy that subject..make another survey..its not even in the top choices… enjoyable? thats your reason? are they promoting the “ignorance is bliss” theme? for years we have the lowest scores in asia when it came to science and mathematics…did they even ask the kids if they preferred to have science taken out of their subjects?…it seems that we now have to definitely home school our children, nephews and nieces…lets just… Read more »
BenK
Editor
“For the time being, our speculations will remain as plain speculations.” Then what is the point of bringing them up? I’m not so sure dropping the science is a good idea, but I’m not sure it’s a bad idea, either, or one with nefarious aims. I have a first-grader in public school, and I think the present curriculum is too heavy for six-year-olds. Science is important to teach kids how to learn other things, but that’s not how it’s taught here in the first place, so it at least needs to be changed — maybe dropping it and picking it… Read more »
Arche
Guest
“Then what is the point of bringing them up?” The sentences that followed the one you quoted will answer that; although they are speculations for the time being (due to absence of solid evidence), they can nevertheless inspire an in-depth investigation of what’s happening in our educational system. And the speculations aren’t without merit either; they are founded on the data we have in our hands. With regards to the abolition of Science as a subject, what I do take issue is how DepEd will allegedly “integrate” science concepts in the rest of the subjects. Won’t that make things confusing,… Read more »
BenK
Editor
Like I said, I’m not sure that the curriculum change is the best idea, either. But until I see what the new curriculum involves, exactly, I can’t automatically condemn it. Certainly not on the basis of an article in the local paper, anyway, and certainly not by judging how far it deviates from the current norm. The norm is a total disaster and it all needs to be changed. The people in the local and district levels know that(I expend most of my “community service”-type efforts on the public schools), but the reality is the fine details of the curriculum… Read more »
Don
Guest
I’ll condemn it anyway. I learned the difference between whales and sharks when I was in kindergarten, thanks to my old teacher. That was science back in the day. Of course, values education back then was a parental duty; teachers merely supplemented what parents already imparted. As for mother tongue, that’s just making a dumb thing sound smart. I grew up tri-lingual, and now am literate in 5 languages. All that came from parents’ (and grandparents’) drive and the old, NON-nationalistic curriculum. Besides that, long before the DepEd started making people stupid, our grandparents were all qualified to teach grade… Read more »
Teresita Barrio
Guest
In my own opinion, one of the problems in our educational system is the appointment of Deped secretaries that do not have background about basic education, though I do not underestimate their capabilities but it’s different if they are someone who rose from the rank of basic educators….like a teacher who became superintendent or regional director…. these are the people who really know what the students really need having in the classroom for many years…….another thing is that….values education subjects should not be taken as separate subject because it is already integrated in all subject areas but instead, reading and… Read more »
Prudence
Guest

I agree with you. DepEd secretary should have a background on being an educator, through and through. Our secretaries are intelligent individuals, but I have yet to see one who knows the system in and out. I don’t have a problem with e number of subjects in schools. It’s just the manner of teaching it and the subject content, which are not matched to age.

Alconce
Guest

Theocracy is slowly rearing its ugly head among our unsuspecting youth. Science has all the answers and certainly not that book written by primitive herders of goats. They still cling on in teaching lies about the origins of man and the universe always pointing to that invisible man up there as the one responsible. In taking away science at an early age, we might be waking up one day with a generation of kids relying on deities, prayers and faith rather than science.

auriga
Guest

I think you are overanalyzing already.

kabayongtao
Guest
If their rationale revolves around the idea that a subject can be implicitly be incorporated into others, thus can be removed from the roster. Then, wouldn’t it make more sense if they instead, choose between Filipino and English language subject? Given that both can have an identical structure. But perhaps, a better idea to try is to combine the study of both language into a single subject. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I noticed some teachers prefer to teach English by comparing it with the mother tongue. So combining them can provide the teacher with a platform… Read more »
DaidoKatsumi
Guest

As a Christian myself, God and science must come along together. Not the other way around. How can we invent something without science?

Prudence
Guest

Wait, how did god come with science? Yes, we do discover and invent things using science. What does god have to do with all of that except maybe that invisible pat ion your own back, a self-acknowledgement?

christy
Guest

Learn world history dear, please. At least read about the short history of progress or basically watch a lot of history documentaries. Or, better yet, take a course in archaeology to enlighten yourself. Religion drove order and precision among ancient civilisations, and had been a significant contribution to other branches of knowledge. Modern science will not be what it is now without its early foundations. The bible isn’t devoid of hinting science that we know of, either, so don’t dismiss religion, which has been here since the inception of human consciousness, and associate it with regression and imbecility.

Mirror Force
Guest

You took the words out of my fingers, miss. 🙂

Also, amen.

Peste
Guest
This proposed curriculum is almost the same as the one I had in my Catholic all-boys grade school back in the 1990s. I assume this is also the Catholic grade school experience of the leadership of DepEd: it turned out fine for them, so they’re ok with it. Here’s what I remember (subjects with Filipino names are taught in Filipino, I would also indicate some subjects with English names that are taught in Filipino): – There was no Science in grade 1. It, along with PE, was integrated in Sibika at Kultura (Civics and Culture) mainly due to the supplementary… Read more »
Peste
Guest
Additional notes 1: About the supplementary magazine, we went along with them back then, but now that I’m older and supposedly wiser, I realize forced subscriptions are more of business than education. It implies that textbooks are lacking, perhaps with the latest knowledge, the fun factor or whatever. But I think that’s where the teacher is supposed to step in. The magazine, if it’s really that good, should be available in the library and not be forced upon all students. Thing is, they’re actually printed on cheap paper and contained rehashed articles from somewhere else. We had magazine and newspaper… Read more »
Peste
Guest

Additional notes 2:

We boys weren’t taught about female puberty in that EPP subject in grade 5. Instead, we got it in grade 6 Science, I think. Ah well, that’s Catholic school sex education for you.

Peste
Guest
Additional notes 3: So you’re worried about the lack of science education? Someone mentioned it earlier regarding values education, but I think it applies to all subjects: Education starts at home. While it was a bummer that I couldn’t show off my science knowledge as early as grade 1, the fact that I had science knowledge back then means that I, everyone in fact, could and did turn out well even if the science education in schools is lacking. How? We had science books back home. Most of the magazines I mentioned earlier were science based: National Geographic, Discover, Popular… Read more »
Prudence
Guest

Well, problem is, not all parents are interested in science. So they don’t cultivate the interest in their kids. That’s where schools should come in, give kids proper exposure and education on basic knowledge like science and math

Combuzz
Guest

Also not all parents understand science. Back in 2nd grade my mom used to teach me that the earth is flat and that the sun revolved around the moon and that the sun was the biggest planet in the universe. Boy was I embarrassed when I tried to flex my science knowledge in my 2nd grade class.

mercury
Guest

I have a countermeasure proposal against the DepEd’s ‘flawed’ K-12 program. Let’s start a campaign making the parents themselves teach science for their children. I know it will be a daunting task but it can also strengthen family bonds at the same time.

Lord Chimera
Guest

And here I thought that our country couldn’t sink any lower and I was proven wrong. I really wonder about DepEd’s agenda are they deliberately making the younger generation dumber so that they can easily be swayed(ignorance is a tool of control)or is some up high up skimping on the expenses to line up their own pockets? This is not a good omen folks.

bechay
Guest

just when you thought this country couldn’t sink any deeper..

Parallax
Guest

great. escudero wanted to ditch math. luistro wants to ditch science (well, at least for a year). anyone wants to ditch the language subjects? it would be more fun in the philippines if everybody’s just making unrecognizable sounds, whimpers, shrieks and moans.

da philippines: more morons, more fun!
it’s moron-tastic!

Hyden Toro
Guest

Noynoy Aquino and this idiot want us to become as ignorant, as they can make us…anyway, most of us will turn out as OFW slaves and Drug Mules for their Hacinda Luisita Mafia…or farm laborers in their Hacienda Luisita. Paid U.S. $2 a day…when you complain, you are murdered…

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