MATATAG curriculum to improve PH functional literacy: solon

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

August 11, 2023, 6:43 pm

MANILA – The chairperson of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture on Friday said the revised K to 10 curriculum, otherwise known as the MATATAG curriculum, would help improve functional literacy in the Philippines.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said recalibrating the basic education curriculum by reducing the number of competencies and focusing more on foundational skills such as literacy and numeracy would boost the academic performance of Filipino learners.

Romulo pointed out the dismal results of the Philippines in large-scale international assessments of student achievement such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM).

He also cited a June 2022 World Bank report stating that around 91 percent of children in the Philippines suffered learning poverty -- defined as being unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10 -- during the height of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

He further pointed out that the current curriculum failed to meet the K-12 promise of employment after graduation from senior high school.

He said the revised curriculum will be decongested to reduce the number of competencies to the most essential.

"Ang solusyon po nila, proposal nila -- bawasan natin ang subjects, bawasan natin ang competencies -- tumutok lang tayo sa tinatawag kong reading, reading, reading at basic mathematics (Their proposed solution is to remove certain subjects, reduce learning competencies and just focus more on reading, reading, reading and basic mathematics)," he said.

"Sayang po ang talino at galing ng Pilipino kung hindi rin po mabibigyan ng ating education system ng paghahanda na maging job ready or college ready (The intelligence and skills of Filipinos would only go to waste if our education system would not prepare them to be job ready or college ready)," he added.

Department of Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Z. Duterte on Thursday said the revised basic education curriculum is tailored to produce competent, job-ready, active, responsible and patriotic citizens.

Duterte also cited the intensified 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 to 21st Century Skills.

She said among the features of the MATATAG curriculum are the peace competencies highlighting the promotion of non-violent actions and development of conflict resolution skills.

"This curriculum will be integral in DepEd's MATATAG Agenda unveiled in January this year. DepEd's track remains to be fundamentally illuminated by the wisdom of our slogan 'MATATAG: Bansang makabata, batang makabansa', meaning DepEd's programs and reforms are intentionally tailored to produce competent, job-ready, active, responsible and patriotic citizens," Duterte said.

"MATATAG" stands for "MAke the curriculum relevant to produce job-ready, active, and responsible citizens; TAke steps to accelerate the delivery of basic education services and provision facilities; TAke good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusiveness learning, and positive learning environment; and Give support for teachers to teach better."

DepEd Bureau of Curriculum Development Director Jocelyn Andaya said the review, which took them two years, was able to decongest the curriculum by 70 percent.

Andaya said it includes developing and drafting of Shaping Papers and Curriculum Guides, which were validated, revised and went through a public review before being finalized.

The DepEd announced that the MATATAG Curriculum will be implemented in SY 2024-2025 for Kindergarten, Grades 1, 4, and 7.

In SY 2025-2026, Grades 2, 5, and 8 will be under the new curriculum with Grades 3, 6, and 9 in SY 2026-2027. Grade 10 learners will join them on SY 2027-2028. (PNA)