K12 Education in the Philippines: Ineffective?

(How effective is K12 education in the Philippines after implementing the program for almost 10 years? The author gives insights based on personal interviews and observations. – Ed.)

The K12 or Enhanced Basic Education Act makes it 12 longish years studying from primary to secondary studies prior to entering college. The K12 Program comprises the Grade 11 and Grade 12 respectively, after finishing 4th year high school or Grade 10 for the Senior High School or SHS.

K12 Education Rationale and Apprehensions

The K12 Program was primarily enforced as a tool that serves as an instrument to attain excellence and distinguishing attributes like in the United States and the United Kingdom. So students wanting to further their studies in the United States can keep up the benchmark with the global standards and improve the value of education. Further, technical skills would be at par globally too.

After 10 years of its coherent implementation, where are now the graduates of the K12 Program? Were their education levels exceedingly helped in highly establishing their economic status and work life?

How effective was K12 Program in the formation of the learners? Were the educational tools and methodical procedures efficient enough and really capable of producing intended results?

Read More: Tips on How to Choose Best Online Learning Resources for Kids

Was the scale of our country’s economic structure and life conditions have somehow risen because there are more established graduates of the K12 program?

But then again, was it really de facto for the majority? Was it effectual?

Did the K12 program advance and made progress to the K12 students’ learning?

Were the blend in methodologies of foreign teachings optimize here in our country and were the tools used in correlation with the global instruments?

On top of the desperate economic crisis induced by the covid-19 pandemic, did K12 program just added a laden weight in proportion to the bulk of finances the parents had to face?

K12 Program set into motion with the logical justification that students will get or get possession of a marvellous job after having an academic degree or K12 diploma.

In an unfortunate manner, companies are hesitant to hire K12 graduates. K12 was started and put into law so that Filipino workers will be globally on par with its international counterparts.

So what good does this make? How effective indeed is K12 education after 10 years?

I attempt to answer these questions in the next sections as I describe the program in more detail.

Tracks of K12 Program

In the Philippines, the K12 program has basically 3 tracks or career path that students can pursue:

  1. Academic Track,
  2. Technical Vocational or TVL Track, and
  3. Sports Track,

There are four (4) kinds of strands under the K12 program, under the “Academic Track”:

  1. Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) Strand. The career path for law students, political science or international studies, psychology, clinical psychology, psychiatry, mass communication, performing arts, English literature and other related courses.
  2. Accounting, Business and Management (ABM) Strand. These leads to a career path in business studies, marketing, real estate, commerce, tourism, human resource management, banking and finance, accounting and accountancy.
  3. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Strand. Pertains to the career path for engineers, medicine, pilot, nursing, biology, physics, computer studies, information technology and other related sciences.
  4. General Academic (GA) Strand. For the undecided yet on which specific course to take in college. What makes this excellent is that you can proceed to all courses in college.

There are four (4) kinds of strands under the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track or TVL Track, which center on skills and practical knowledge offered at public schools:

  1. Agri-Fishery Arts Strand. Develop students’ skills in agriculture and aquaculture. This strand covers food processing, coconut, and rubber production.
  2. Home Economics Strand to enable students to be competent on livelihood projects like hair and makeup stylist, tour guides, chef, etc.
  3. Industrial Arts Strand for those inclined to do carpentry, electrical works, welding, and truck driving.
  4. ICT Strand to enable takers to become proficient in computer programming, web development, graphics and information technology (IT).

Sports Track, which is offered in selected school institutions, aims to develop professional athletes, sports coaches, or physical education (PE) teachers.

7 Benefits of K12 Education

k12 education
K12 education adequately prepares students for a productive career.

Here are the 7 benefits of the K12 Program out of the random interview I did with the parents:

  1. K12 designs to a specified purpose of a larger window for additional income for private and public schools—an influx of monetary gain for educational institutions.
  2. The augmentation of studying for the K12 program leads to the rise of more students that signifies more step up of revenues for the school’s canteen, cafeteria and bookstores. This implies recurrent benefits for these lines of businesses.
  3. K12 program is characterized by the preparatory stage of college thus gets students well-oriented with the challenges of college life.
  4. K12 education has paved the way for more working teachers, or jobs for the K12 teachers that entailed an additional budget for the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and the Department of Education (DepEd).
  5. Facilitates development because of greater demand for electricity or electric usage for added classrooms.
  6. A distinct additional profit for the natural gas partnership firms and gas companies with more students being transported.
  7. Additional revenues for the clothing industries for the added school uniforms for K-12 students.

8 Disadvantages of K12 Education

Here are the 8 disadvantages of the K12 Program out of the random interview I did with parents:

  1. A prolonged beyond the usual tedious or longer years in school (plus 2 years). Extending for a considerable distance than what’s necessary.
  2. Graduates take time to produce and are two years older (23 years old instead of 21 before).
  3. Parents have struggled financially or have been heavily laden already. They experience strains in their monthly budgeting with the additional K12 two years: more for tuition fee increase, tediously burdened hearts and pockets with the additional 2 years for tuition fee, school allowance and good food for the brain and health of students. This happened on top of the desperate economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Additional expenses for the working parents on their kids’ K12 school books, school projects, school events which weigh down or encumbered parents’ finances.
  5. Adds to harming the environment with more electric usage per added classrooms.
  6. The K12 program adds harm to the environment by allocating more transports.
  7. Some students resort to early teenage matrimonial wedding from being exhausted beyond endurance with prolonged studies for two more years in the K12 program.
  8. After graduating in the K12 Program, companies are hiring college graduates and not the K12 graduates. Naturally, engineering companies would hire engineering graduates to successfully facilitate engineering works for them, so why hire a K12 graduates in that aspect? Similarly, hospitals would employ trained nurses to do delicate work and not the K12 students because, simply put, nursing graduates are better equipped for that certain line of hospital work.

After 10 years, did the K12 education fulfill these 3 areas?

  1. Favorable proviso for any growth and advancement of knowledge gained from such a program which reflects to later success,
  2. An inspiring awe of any astounding progress in life history, and
  3. And a good chance for advancement for a better commendable work opportunities for the students who had no other default option but to comply with it?

These things require a systematic process to answer. And it’s difficult to say with certainty if the K12 program has met its objectives.

There was a first attempt to evaluate the program, concluding that there appears to be a mismatch between what the schools produce under the program and the expected outcomes (Almerino et al., 2020). Graduates of the K12 program appear to be not ready for higher education, getting overseas jobs, and others.


  1. Let’s thoroughly appraise the effects of the K12 Program and do some honest to goodness pertinent immersion study on these.
  2. If we genuinely long and hope for our country’s economy to proceed forward, let’s not weigh down and burden further the hapless people lacking in specific resources. The urban poor need help more, not putting them down more and more because parents have been bulked already by the pandemic economic crisis. 60% of the populace in our country appertains to the average mass sector, whilst 20% belong to the middle class and the remaining 20% to the upper class in the society.
  3. A striking surfacing excess of a majority over the rest of the total humanity inevitably can’t spare more pennies for college, how much more sending their kids to studies abroad. Hence, why not precisely change? Let that 20% of the upper class alone undertake the K12 Program as they’re the ones most likely can study abroad in college and master’s degree so they can be on par with the best global standards. But eradicate and remove the K12 Program for the mass people.
  4. Why not inculcate the technical skills training in the 3rd year (Grade 9) to 4th year high school (Grade 10) to compact their learnings instead of adding two more years? Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) even has this wonderful special short few months skills training which anyone can avail freely, yes in just a matter of few months, not the longish toilsome two years.

To address all these recommendations, the use of a curriculum engine powered by generative artificial intelligence can help in the design of an effective, appropriate, and relevant curriculum based on an objective and context-relevant data in the highly diverse educational setting of the country.

The following bible verses relate to education or the quest to gain knowledge:

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 18:15

Education empowers individuals and gives them wisdom. Thus, excellent education emancipates people enslaved by ignorance.


Almerino, P. M., Ocampo, L. A., Abellana, D. P. M., Almerino, J. G. F., Mamites, I. O., Pinili, L. C., … & Peteros, E. D. (2020). Evaluating the academic performance of K-12 students in the philippines: A standardized evaluation approach. Education Research International, 2020.

Guise, J. M., Geller, S., Regensteiner, J. G., Raymond, N., & Nagel, J. (2017). Team mentoring for interdisciplinary team science: lessons from K12 scholars and directors. Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 92(2), 214.

Montebon, D. T. (2014). K12 science program in the Philippines: Student perception on its implementation. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(12), 153-164.

One Response

  1. Annabelle Gonzaga Kim July 20, 2022