LOUD WHISPERS| June 01, 2015 set for start of school calendar year

SECRETARY Armin A. Luistro (FSC) of the Department of Education (DepEd) issued DepEd Order No. 9 s. 2015 which stipulates that June 1, 2015 (Monday) shall start the actual teacher-learning days and shall strictly be observed in all schools nationwide.

     So, this is exactly nine (9) days from now. This school year consists 201 days (to 220), inclusive of the 5-day in-service training break. However the Order states that the private schools may deviate from this schedule but they can not start classes earlier than June 1 (Monday) and not later than August, as provided by RA 7797.

     But there are private schools who may perhaps deviate from this timeline, however, they can make up for lost days which the school deems necessary for learning and teaching process. In cases of lost days due to occurrence of natural disasters, calamities and other man-made calamities, a mechanism may be employed like make-up classes but this should be agreed upon by the parents and teachers.

     I noticed that some high and elementary schools conducted the “Brigada Eskwela” activity and this week, the “Oplan Balik Eskwela” activity. (I opine, for schools far from IT they don’t know about this.)

     If some DepEd schools don’t know about this schedule, they may be surprised to know later on that the first examination day will the first quarter on July 6-7 after which a week after this, cards should be distributed.

     The DepEd has also scheduled the Graduation Day for 2015-2016 Cyear on April 01, 2016. This means that this is also the last day of classes.

     It seems that the “Brigada Eskwela” activity has already become regular specially in public schools; however in some private schools, not all comply with this schedule because for them, this is still enrollment week. I also observed that not all schools know what to day during this day. I guess it would be fitting and appropriate if this “Brigada Eskwela” day be used for orientation day of both parents and teachers or students and teachers. In one school that I saw, the day was used by inviting and allowing all parents to come to school and have a look-see of the particular school. The school then exhibits its best practices and tour the parents on its facilities and teaching materials and facilities. One student I saw, also spent the day with a convocation program and allowed students to socialize with other students in the form of socialized activities and programs.

   And perhaps, most importantly, the school and the teachers should orient the parents and students on the policies, opportunities and nature of the new curricula under K-12 Program. The school can also assure the quality of the students’ learning, formative asessments that shall be regularly conducted by the teachers. This is important, to erase doubts and erase apprehensions of teachers, parents and students on the K-12 Progam. On the national level, the National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC) shall also administer the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE), the Language Assessment for Primary Grades (LAPG) and the National Achieverment Test (NAT). It is also worth mentioning that the NCAE shall be conducted to assess the aptitude and interests of high school students plannng to proceed to post secondary course and other career options and to provide them with the relevant information on their skills, abilities, and readiness for academic and non-academic courses which help them make wise career decisions.

     There is also the LAPG used to measure the literacy skills of the pupils in Mother Tongue, Filipino and English, and the NAT shall be conducted to measure what pupils/students in Grade VI and Grade 10 know and can do in five core subject areas: Science, Math, English, Filipino and HeKaSi/Panlipunan) and to assess the attainment of the 21st century skills in varying levels of complexity.

     In my previous article (column) I wrote the curriculm guides prescribed by the DepEd on the K to 10 subjects. To continue with that, here are the lists:

   Disaster Readiness and Risk Reduction shall be taken instead of Physical Science for those in the STEM Strand. For Specialized Tracks: A. Academic Track: 1. Accountacy, Business, and Management (ABM) Strand. a) Applied Economomic, b) Business Ethics and Social Responsibility c) Fundamentals of Accountancy, Business and Management 2, 2 d. Business Math f) Organization and Management g) Principles of Marketing h) Work Immersion/ Research/ Career Advocacy/ Culminating Activity/ i.e. Business Enterprise Simulation.

     2. Humanities and Social Sciences Strand (HUMSS)

   3. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematicsw (STEM Strand) a) Pre-Calculus b) Basic Calculus c) General Biology 1 d) General Biology 2 e) General Biology 2 f) Physics 1 g) Physics 2 h) General Chemistry 1 and

   4) General Academic Strand – subjects are still under deliberation in DepEd.

     So, my friends, this is what I mean by “there’s seems to be an overhauling of the elementary and high school curricula.” In my observation, it seems that the subjects are too advanced and too high level that the students and teachers, will surely be surprised and shocked. (FVS)

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