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22M students return to schools today

Metro Manila, August 29 ------ Millions of public school students returned to their classrooms today, to welcome a new academic year and a new program initially rolled out by the government for kindergarten to Grade 10 learners. Of the over 22 million enrollees, the Department of Education (DepEd) said around 19 million are students from public schools, while the rest are from private institutions. Several schools in Metro Manila and in other regions are joining the pilot implementation of the new "Matatag" curriculum launched by the government early this month. DepEd introduced the new program which reduced the competencies that students need to master following a two-year study.

Around 70% of the current curriculum was cut, with learning competencies down to around 3,600 from over 11,000 to give more time to foundational skills for a better learning outcome. The learning areas in the early levels were also cut from seven to five to include Language, Reading and Literacy, Math, Makabansa, and Good Manners and Right Conduct. "There are competencies that are only nice to know but not a must to know that's why we aim for essential learning competencies," said Jocelyn Andaya, director of DepEd Bureau of Curriculum and Development Director, in an Aug. 11 briefing.

After the pilot implementation, the phased rollout will begin by the school year 2024 to 2025. Meanwhile, some members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers welcomed the new academic year by staging a protest in Mendiola, Manila early in the morning. They urged the government to address various education issues and questioned the alleged misappropriated confidential and intelligence funds for DepEd.




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