by Jacob Reyes
2016 marks the year that the K+12 Senior High School curriculum will be fully implemented in the country.
Though there has been a debate whether or not the country is ready to implement this system, the Department of Education has pushed forward with its goal to get rid of the 10-year pre-university cycle and in change integrate the 13-year program into the country’s education system through the K+12 Program.
This was seen as a necessary step to level our education system with countries around the globe as the Philippines was one of the last three remaining countries, along with Angola and Djibouti, that implemented a 10-year pre-university cycle.
The new curriculum brought us, Grade 11 students, a handful of familiar courses, similar to subjects we took in our earlier years, and a sea of entirely new and specialized courses.
These new courses are mostly in line with the strand choice of each student, which are Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Accounting, Business, and Management (ABM).
To begin with, the school set up multiple activities for us to figure out where we belong. Numerous talks, guidance sessions, aptitude tests, and achievement tests were among those activities.
We also took summer bridging classes to teach us the lessons we were expected to know as we geared toward the K+12 curriculum during the summer between Grade 9 and Grade 10.
Due to these, we had some knowledge regarding what to expect in each strand and what our upcoming courses and lessons would be.
Next thing we know it was the first day of school. We met our teachers who were mostly familiar faces although the school got professors from De La Salle University (DLSU) to teach in some courses.
As we got used to what was required of us by our teachers, we soon learned that we cannot afford to be lazy. This year, hard work was emphasized in order to pass a subject.
An overwhelming amount of homework and projects were given, most of which could not be accomplished with the quality or accomplished at all.
The way the lessons were taught to us seemed crammed into a short period of time. One would barely be able to comprehend one lesson before the class moved on to the next, although these happened a little less than frequent throughout the semester.
These are problems that I would like to think bothered all of us grade 11 students. The remedial classes were scheduled during our intramurals and as such, it was used as somewhat of a motivation for us to study and perform well in school. The exams came by quickly and the next thing we know, it is already the semestral break.
Overall, the first semester of senior high school could be summed up, for me, as difficult but it was all worth it.
Throughout the five or so months of being in Grade 11, I haven’t had much of a break just trying to accomplish the requirements needed for each subject.
The group works with overlapping deadlines, time constraints, sleeping late at night or not sleeping at all and many more have hindered me and probably most of us Grade 11 students from performing at our best.
These tasks have canceled the one day of the week that I get to spend with my whole family as I would sometimes have to do group work, continue working on a project, study for a test.
There were also those times where my parents would stop me from continuing a project as it was already 12 in the morning and I suppose would like me to get some sleep.
On the other hand, our teachers have probably spent days checking all the requirements we have been submitting to them at the expense of their time as well.
Even more, teachers have the added responsibility of taking care of their families, making lesson plans, and teaching lessons to their students.
Both teachers and students have gone through the experience of managing our precious and limited time between school and non-school related affairs. These have made it seem to me that stress has made it into our normal everyday lives which will stand it’s ground no matter what.
Although time has probably been the greatest casualty in this endeavor for both the students and teachers, this semester has left me with fun and memorable experiences brought by the different and creative performance tasks required from us.
It has really been fun working together with my fellow classmates in these requirements. I see the first semester as our training for our future years in SHS, in college and beyond. It left us more equipped for our future college courses as we learn the value of time management and hard work.
It has left us with the knowledge to help us become even more aware of issues evident in modern society.
As we begin a new chapter in our Senior High School life, we must realize that some things are really necessary for our benefit even as they seem completely useless.
Our first semester in SHS can serve as a learning point for what is to come in the future. With the new semester comes, new courses will follow.
We can expect these to be as tedious or even more tedious than our previous courses.
Given we already have been given somewhat of a sneak peek for what is to come, this semester will hopefully not repeat what shortcomings we have faced in the first semester.
By now, we should have adjusted to the relatively new system that requires more effort and time, in my perspective, than the previous years.
Being the first batch of K+12 students, it has really been a bumpy ride for most or all of us. We should reflect on our experiences, not just on the difficulties and sacrifices, but also what we have benefitted throughout the semester.
I realized that our experiences in the first semester in Grade 11 were a crucial stepping-stone for all of us to learn from our mistakes, strive to get better, and to further our studies to achieve most, if not, all of our goals.
Best of luck to all of us on our future studies and endeavors in Senior High School and beyond.!