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It Takes a Village to Prepare for K+12

SKJun 22 2015901Maerose T. Bayya

The Quezon City Government took on the challenge of preparing the country’s biggest public school system for the K+12 program by engaging the participation of several stakeholders. The city has an enrollment of 444,000 in its 142 public schools. Add to this, the 148,982 enrolled in 432 private schools. For high school alone, the combined enrollment is 204,008, with 50,140 of them slated as first enrollees of Grade 11 in SY 2015 – 2016. That is the scale of the challenge.

Among Quezon City Herbert Bautista’s first initiatives was to create in 2013, a multi-stakeholder Technical Working Group that could already study needs and recommend multiple solutions. It involved not only the Division of City Schools of Quezon City and the City government, but also national agencies, private sector associations and civic organizations. The TWG studied including infrastructure readiness and directions for the classroom requirements, teacher capacities and training needs, parent orientation, livelihood training and employment opportunities for those who would choose the tech voc track, and the Commission on Higher Education for the tertiary school track.

Among the strategies undertaken as a result of studies were a school mapping program that determined public and private school locations, classrooms available and buildable space. This would facilitate distribution of the senior high school students. Thus, when it was determined that only 62% of senior high school learners could be accommodated in DepEd schools, the TWG study showed where the other schools where the 38% could be accommodated and which could be facilitated through clear partnership agreements.

It also showed properties where the City government could build additional school buildings. Where parcels had to be purchased or otherwise negotiated, the Mayor mobilized a task force on Land Acquisition, targeting properties for schools as priorities.

Bayan Academy and Miriam College were engaged to provide teacher training with curriculum based on profiles, capacities and career paths of the teachers as determined by Sound Marketing and Technical Services (SMART). The trainings were on Sustainable Education Enhancement and Development Program (QC SEED) and strategic planning and social marketing. The teachers also underwent 20 days of retooling in English, Math and Science. The QC-LGU-managed Korphil trained the teachers in animation and computer programming to enable them to acquire National Certification.

The Asia Foundation assisted the city government in the drafting of implementing rules and regulations for the City ordinance granting incentives to organizations who will donate to schools and promote academic-industry linkages. They also conceptualized an SHS locator and mobile information application.

All these were guided by a framework of ordinances supporting the implementation of the K+12 program in several aspects.

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