The Department of Education’s (DepEd) launching of the MATATAG Curriculum will improve the country’s school curriculum and determine what suits the needs of Filipino learners, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday.

The government has twitted the country’s existing K-12 secondary education program, introducing the MATATAG Curriculum, which it says will be more responsive and suited to learners.

“The MATATAG Program includes all our efforts para pagandahin ang international score natin, especially when it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) tinatawag na STEM subjects. Binibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ‘yung mga after 10th grade na mamili kung sila ay mag-vocational, magte-technical training o itutuloy nila. So that’s, more or less, the big system changes that we are doing,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said during a Brigada Eskwela event in Manila recently.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said the MATATAG Curriculum is the legacy of the Marcos administration in the country’s basic education, which would address the problems cited by international and local education experts in the new K-10 Program.

Duterte said that those that would be addressed were the numerous learning competencies, in which, from approximately 11,000, DepEd cut it down to 3,000 learning competencies.

“And sa key stages, Grade 1 to 3, dati seven subjects tayo, binaba natin sa five subjects with the focus on Math and Reading. And then ang Science natin, papasok ‘pag Grade 4,” Duterte said.

DepEd launched the MATATAG Curriculum last week with the aim of decongesting the current K to 12 Curriculum.

Duterte, however, said that aside from cutting down the number of competencies, and focus on literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional skills for kindergarten to Grade 3 learners, the new curriculum would also intensify the formation of learners’ values and character development in adherence to the Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) and Values Education Act as well as the articulation of 21st Century Skills.

Marcos said that said he had been on discussion with DepEd officials and educators on whether to revert back classes to pre-pandemic schedule.

“Pinag-uusapan nga namin. We were talking with the teaching staff here. Tinatanong ko sa kanila, ano ‘yung preference nila. Pinag-aaralan natin. The DepEd is in the process – sila sa kasalukuyan ay mayroon silang ginagawang study kung ano ba talaga ang pinaka-maganda.

Siguro malaking tanong ‘yan. Hindi ganoon kasimple ‘yan kasi noong pinalitan natin, pinalitan natin ‘yung schedule dahil may pandemic, tapos ngayon naman climate change ang kailangan nating pag-usapan. Dahil sa schedule ngayon, napakainit, at pati ‘yung mga bata ay hinihimatay na. Kaya’t kailangan natin isama sa ating pag-aaral ‘yan kung ano ‘yung mga dapat gawin,” Marcos said.

Marcos said that the administration has no preference, and is only looking at what is the best for the Filipinos learners to make them comfortable while they are in school.

“Titingnan lang talaga natin kung ano ‘yung pinakamaganda both for the kids, especially for the children, at saka sa mga teacher at saka sa mga administrative non-teaching staff. Dahil kailangan, (kung) papapasukin natin sila (at) mainit masyado, baka hindi na kayang gawin ang trabaho nila, magkasakit pa,” Marcos said.

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