CHAPTER II – Review of Related Literature
Philippine Secondary Education Curriculum
Massive societal changes over the past twenty years (Drucker,1994; Reigeluth,1994) have altered society’s educational needs and in turn are driving schools to redesign their curricula. Within the educational field, schools have been challenged to shift from the traditional paradigm of teacher-directed learning and dissemination of knowledge to learner-centered curricula that can promote the development of life-long learners who can think critically, solve problems and work collaboratively. These are the skills youths need to survive in the future (Drucker,1994; Reigeluth,1994; Banathy,1992). In order to realize these goals, secondary education schools need to adopt a new paradigm that embeds learning within real world contexts and that involves students in hands-on activities that promote meaningful problem solving and cognitive apprenticeship (Jonassen,1991).
The Philippines, classified as a developing country and grouped in the East Asian region, needs to establish a system of mass secondary education: (a) that responsive to the country’s socio economic needs and capabilities; ( b) that can respond effectively to increased and diversified demand by expanding access to secondary education; and (c) that can help students to graduate with knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience needed to exercise their choices beyond secondary education. Hence, secondary education is considered the bridge between primary or basic education, the labor market and tertiary education.
Patterns of Secondary Education in the East Asian Region
From year 1945 onwards, primary and secondary education were given significant investments that advanced economies of Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan adopted to increase the length , access and improve the quality of basic education that included lower secondary schooling or junior secondary school (Mundle,1998). From Table 1 (p.21), the duration and age of entry as per data from the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) show that the Philippines has the shortest span of basic education compared to its East Asian regional neighbors. The country has the shortest basic education ladder of six plus four, (six years of primary education and four years of secondary education) typified by eight subjects on the average per year level either primary or secondary prior to the 2002 restructured curriculum. But the long term deterioration in quality showed that Filipino children between nine and fourteen in mathematics, science and reading were two standard deviations below the international Mean (World Bank,1999). In order to arrest this downslide in learning, the Department of Education implemented the new revised basic education curriculum known as the 2002 Basic Education Curriculum with five learning areas namely: Mathematics, English, Science, Filipino and the much maligned Makabayan. The 2002 BEC (Basic education Curriculum) is not a sweeping change but a restructuring of the 1983 Elementary Education Curriculum (NESC) and the 1989 New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC). It is focused on the basics of improving literacy and numeracy while inculcating values across learning areas to make it dynamic (Batomalaque,2002). Other East Asian countries have a compact curriculum with five learning areas with emphasis to mathematics, science and technology with one to two languages, English one of them and culture (the country’s own history).
The new curriculum is similar in essence to Indonesia’s educational framework wherein the eighty percent (80%) is national and twenty percent (20%) localized. The core subjects are Mathematics, Science and Technology, Indonesian language and Civic education and Geography. Science is integrated to different streams such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Technology and the twenty percent localized has subjects in Agriculture, Fisheries, Woodcraft and Entrepreneurship. In the regional context, the education systems in Asia during the last decade were in a state of flux. However, there has been a general desire to reform the system in order to gain knowledge and skills appropriate to a changing world. Globalization and the era of free market stress the teaching and learning of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in addition to further strengthening the teaching of mathematics, science and foreign language subjects. The axiom has been to be a competitive citizen in a highly competitive world. Competition has become the formula for success where opportunities abound and education is held as the key to unlocking these opportunities.
In Thailand, secondary education is divided into two levels, each covering a period of three years. The lower level emphasizes learners’ intellect, ethics, morality and basic skills, while the upper level aims to provide appropriate academic and vocational knowledge and skills corresponding with the learners’ interests and aptitudes. Meanwhile, secondary curriculum covers five broad fields: language, science, mathematics, social studies, character development and work education. The use of credit system at this level facilitates flexibility in the teaching-learning area.
Vietnam, on the other hand, secondary education comprises of two grades- basic secondary and general secondary education. Basic secondary education is conducted in four school years from sixth to ninth form and the pupil must have a primary education graduate certificate and be eleven years old. General secondary education is conducted in three school years from the tenth to twelfth form and must have a graduate certificate from the basic secondary level and be fifteen years old. Water resource education is integrated in the subjects Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Civics, Language and Extra-curricular activities (Lam,2003).
Secondary schools in Singapore can be government funded, government aided or independent. Students attend four or five years of secondary education under the Special Express or Normal course. The Special and Express courses prepare students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education `Ordinary` (GCE`O`) Level examination for four years. Students in the Normal course can opt for the academic or technical stream, both of which prepare students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education `Normal` (GCE`N`) Level examination after four years of study and upon satisfactory completion, the GCE`O` Level examination in the fifth year. Secondary curriculum includes English, the Mother Tongue, Mathematics, Science and the Humanities. At Secondary 3, students can opt for electives of their choice, depending on whether they are in the Arts, Science, Commerce or Technical stream. Singapore’s secondary curriculum is recognized world wide for its ability to develop students with critical thinking and intellectual skills. Foreign students are accepted depending on the availability of vacancies. (UNESCO,Bangkok 2004)
The Hongkong Administrative government provides equitable access to nine years of free and universal primary and junior secondary education to all children in the relevant age group. And from year 2003, the Hongkong government has provided subsidized senior secondary education or training to all secondary 3 with particular emphasis in vocational technology. Besides the four core subjects, Chinese language, English language, Mathematics and Liberal studies, students are encouraged to select two or three elective subjects from different key learning areas (KLAs) according to their interests and abilities and also to engage in a variety of essential learning experiences such as aesthetic and physical activities, career-related experiences, community service and moral and civic education. One of the career related subjects is food processing and services which includes food dehydration technology. The new 21st Century curriculum implemented this year replaces the traditional practice of streaming students into science, arts and technical/commercial subjects. Finally, there is the Brunei education system which is patterned after the British system of education. The appendices provide a number of education systems in the Asian region sourced from UNESCO-Bangkok (2000).
An excerpt from the thesis of Engr. Mary Rose Florence S. Cobar, Doctor of Philosophy in Education entitled, “Development of a Source Material in Food Dehydration Craft Technology for the Secondary Schools”