K-12: Sustaining Education Under the Duterte Presidency

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The passage of Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2013, provided for a basic education system consisting of at least one year of pre-school education or kindergarten, six years of elementary school, and six years of secondary school. The Duterte administration has opted to continue this reform. As a contribution to the reform effort, this paper discusses the history of the K-12 rollout, and the emerging challenges in K-12 implementation. It also outlines steps for the consideration of policy makers in moving K-12 forward more effectively. The principal challenge flagged by this paper is to distinguish issues and challenges in program and policy roll-out, from more strategic issues that K-12 will surely help to uncover. Because K-12 requires collective action across many agencies and entities, both public and private, as well as national and local, accurately diagnosing when and where bottlenecks in implementation take place will be critical in continuing to build on this reform.