Teachers group says ‘no homework policy’ impossible with K12 curriculum

BAGUIO CITY — Teachers group Alliance of Concerned Teachers believe the “no homework” policy being proposed is impossible with the K12 curriculum.

“K12 was an experiment that tried to integrate a little bit of everything in a complicated manner, while leaving no ample time for mastery of subjects and development of critical thinking. Further, the range of topics and competencies set by the K to 12 curricula are impossible to cover within formal class hours, resulting to added and beyond-school hour work for both teachers and students,” ACT national chairperson Joselyn Martinez explained.

She further explained that K to 12 follows an outcome-based education (OBE) framework where students’ learning is measured by their outputs. This, Martinez said, demands that students produce several and varied forms of outputs for the assigned topic of the day, which teachers are required to design and facilitate via their daily lesson logs (DLL).

She cited as an example that the DLL should indicate that a certain topic should be covered within, say, an hour. Such should entail a discussion or input part from the teacher and multiple activities to ensure learners are engaged, like reporting, skits, writing, poster-making, and many others.

Martinez added that research work, which is done outside of class hours, has also been made heavier on both teachers and students under K to 12 due to the still severely lacking learning materials despite its 7-year implementation.

“Students have more than one class and therefore are required to cover several topics and competencies daily. No amount of ‘budgeting of work’ can force students and teachers alike to accomplish more than what is realistically doable in a set period of time, hence the need to take home their school work,” Martinez pointed out.

For the teachers’ part, Martinez said that they too are pressured to issue homework to ensure the completion of their DLL, as it is part of their performance evaluation. “It is this context that forces teachers and students alike to render overtime schoolwork.”

“So hear us when we say that we are not issuing homework to burden our students. It is demanded of us by the K12 program, so much that our performance evaluation system ensures its implementation. It is therefore unfair for DepEd to claim that they are ‘discouraging homework’ through several policies, because the agency’s main curriculum is the culprit behind this added work,” Martinez reiterated.

ACT also denounced the proposed bill which included a penalty of P50,000 and/or 1 to 2-year jail sentence to teachers who will require homework from students, saying that “it passes on the blame to teachers who are as much a victim to the faults of K12 as students.”

“The K to 12 curriculum is impractically-paced and does not serve the needs and aspirations of not only our students but of the nation. This is at the heart of the problem when we talk about quality education,” Martinez stressed.

ACT urged Congress to do a comprehensive assessment and review of the K12 program, including its curriculum to see its many flaws, which are seen to cause further decline in the quality of education. ●