The subjects in the new curriculum respond to the individual needs of the students, and are contextualized in their present conditions. Reciprocal interaction between student-teacher, among students, students-instructional materials, students-multi-media sources, students-teachers of different disciplines is also reinforced. The approach to the subjects is “integrated,”. Thus, Filipino and English would, in addition to reading, writing and grammar, include literature and current affairs. The school principal is authorized to make adjustments, but not modification, to the content of the subjects (Guzman and Sevilleno 2003).
- is the responsibility of the Central Office Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education, Curriculum Development Divisions. This bureau defines the learning competencies for the different subject areas; conceptualizes the structure of the curriculum; and formulates national curricular policies. These functions are exercised in consultation with other agencies and sectors of society (e.g. industry, social and civic groups, teacher-training institutions, professional organizations, school administrators, parents, students, etc.).
- the subject offerings, credit points and time allotments for the different subject areas are also determined at the national level. In this sense, a national curriculum exists in the Philippines. However, while curriculum implementation guidelines are issued at the national level, the actual implementation is left to school-teachers. They determine the resources to be used; teaching and assessment strategies and other processes. Furthermore, schools have the option to modify the national curriculum (e.g. content, sequence and teaching strategies) in order to ensure that the curriculum responds to local concerns.
- restructuring of the learning areas, reducing them to five (Filipino, English, science, mathematics and Makabayan);
- stronger integration of competencies and values within and across learning areas;
- greater emphasis on the learning process and integrative modes of teaching; and
- increased time for tasks to gain mastery of competencies of the basic tool subjects.
- The objectives are expressed in terms of competencies, which are knowledge, skills and attitudes that the learner is expected to acquire at the end of the program.
- A significant feature of the competencies is the inclusion of the use of ICTs, articulated in terms of skills in accessing, processing, and applying information, and using educational software in solving mathematical problems and conducting experiments.
- Content is delivered using a variety of media and resources.
- The teaching-learning process considers the learner an active partner rather than an object of pedagogy.
- The learner takes on the role of the constructor of meaning, while the teacher serves as facilitator, enabler and manager of learning.
Review of the Old Curriculum (Guzman and Sevilleno 2003)
The main objectives of Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) are to strengthen the Ministry of Science, Technology, Education and Culture (MOSTEC), develop the quality and coverage of basic, non-formal and secondary education, create a market-driven Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT) program and fortify the Science and Technology (S & T) capacity at the tertiary level. SEDP will also direct the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy in the education sector.
The SEDP contains the New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) implemented in 1989, which changed the 1973 Revised Education Program (RSEP). The program was applied in response to the following needs: continuation of the Program for Decentralized Education (PRODED) giving emphasis on science and technology, mathematics, reading, and writing; improve the value of high school graduates; and develop access to quality secondary education.
BEC vs. SEDP
SEDP is said to be overcrowded, putting together too many competencies and topics. This results to the loss of mastery of basic skills, narrow opportunity to process and contextualize major concepts and weak interconnections of competencies.
On the other hand, BEC had encountered various criticisms.
Tessie Aquino Oreta, the main author of Republic Act No. 9155 or the Governance of Basic Education Act, said the “outcome of learning” among students in public schools nationwide will be sacrificed and eventually suffer because a number of teachers in the country are not prepared to teach the new curriculum.
In spite of the negative impressions, the restructured curriculum allows teachers to address important issues promoting social awareness to the students. It develops wider views of each subject matter while reducing redundancy of content. It also helps to keep pace with the changes in the global context of our educational system and to attain functional literacy. It aims to provide more attention on the means of learning and at the same time promote values development to all the students. It features greater importance on helping every learner particularly in Grades 1-3 to become successful reader. Mathematics on the other hand is the focus in the secondary level. It emphasizes interactive teaching approaches and values formation in all subject areas.