Educ Commission conducts teacher consultations, curriculum validation
“Learning happens in the classroom – not in [central government offices]…Nandito kami para makinig sa inyo. We really want to learn from you”, This is what EDCOM 2 Advisory Council Member Fr. Bienvenido “Ben” Nebres told more than 100 teachers and educators that participated in the recently-conducted Curriculum Validation and Teacher Consultation.
The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) conducted the activity in the Ateneo de Manila University Grade School, Quezon City from July 10-11, 2023. The attendees came from 74 schools – 19 private and 55 public, from 9 regions around the country, with participants coming from Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Dumaguete, Davao, and Zamboanga.
EDCOM 2 validating the K-10 curriculum
During the two-day activity, EDCOM 2 members and participants from partner organizations facilitated discussions to validate whether the revised K-10 curriculum has been decongested, focuses on the fundamentals, is effective in its approach to teaching and learning, and how the language of instruction affects learning.
Early observations by the Commission found that the participants welcomed the Department of Education’s (DepEd) efforts to decongest the curriculum to allow for more time to master priority competencies and outcomes, and noted improvements in the sequence and progression of topics in some areas. They also agreed with the teaching approaches specified by the revised K-10 curriculum.
The participants however also identified some subject areas that still appear to be congested and that have competencies that are repetitive or need to be properly sequenced. They also stressed the need for appropriate support in terms of time and learning resources to be able to implement the revised K-10 curriculum’s teaching approaches.
“The curriculum should be realistic, implementable, and good”, EDCOM 2 Executive Director Dr. Karol Mark Yee reminded the participants. “Sometimes, we aim for the ideal, the perfect curriculum, but oftentimes this gets in the way of realistic implementation”, he said.
The Department of Education released the draft K-10 curriculum last April, with the Senior High School curriculum to follow in November. DepEd is set to implement the revised K-10 curriculum in 2025.
Consulting with teachers on the ground
During the second day of the activity, the Commission conducted Teacher Consultations on topics concerning teaching and learning resources, learning loss recovery, measurement of learning outcomes, and school governance issues.
The participants were divided into subgroups based on Key Stages and subjects, with teachers of particular subjects, like Science, Mathematics, and English, grouped together to facilitate the discussion.
Initial observations by the Commission found that, for both teachers and learners, access to learning resources continues to be uneven in different areas. In terms of learning outcomes, participants expressed concern for notable delays in the release of the results of system assessments, which makes it difficult for schools to use them as the basis for interventions. Discussions on learning losses also underscored the need for remediation for students, requiring sufficient time for instruction outside regular class hours in order to catch up on learning losses during the pandemic.
The event was also attended by EDCOM 2 Advisory Council Member and PEAC Executive Director Ms. Doris Ferrer, and Standing Committee members University of the Philippines Professor Dr. Maria Therese Angeline Bustos, Arnold Janssen Catholic Mission Foundation Executive Director Fr. Jerome Marquez, and SEAMEO Innotech Educational Research and Innovation Office Manager Mr. Diosdado “Dads” San Antonio.
The results of the discussions will be collected and analyzed by the EDCOM 2 Technical Secretariat and its partner research organizations in order to inform policy recommendations for the education sector. The results will also be submitted to the Department of Education for its consideration.