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DepEd rolls out 'decongested' curriculum. Here's what you need to know about MATATAG K-10 Curriculum

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Aug 11, 2023 6:51 pm

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday launched the revised Kinder to Grade 10 (K-10) curriculum called the MATATAG K-10.

The MATATAG K-10 Curriculum aims to decongest the current curriculum by reducing the number of learning areas and focusing on foundational skills. It also visions balanced cognitive demands in order for students to obtain higher-order thinking skills as their grade level progresses. 

The new syllabus comes after a thorough review by experts, who found that the current curriculum was "overloaded" with lessons or subjects, making it difficult for both students and teachers.

“One of the issues discovered was that the curriculum was overloaded with too many lessons or subjects. The curriculum required instructors to teach an excessive number of learning competencies—with very limited time available for instruction,” Vice President Sara Duterte said.

“Both teachers and learners were overburdened with lessons and other school tasks and activities. The result was devastating for our learners. It compromised their mastery of fundamental skills such as reading and solving simple math problems,” she added. 

With these changes, here's what you need to know about MATATAG K-10 Curriculum. 

What is the MATATAG K-10 Curriculum? 

The overloading of the curriculum with too many lessons or subjects compromised the quality and learning delivery of basic education in the country, as per Duterte. This was emphasized during the launch of MATATAG K to 12 curriculum.

MATATAG stands for MAkabagong curriculum na napapanahon, TAlino na mula sa isip at puso, TApang na humarap sa anumang hamon sa buhay, Galing ng Pilipino nangingibabaw sa mundo. 

In the new curriculum, around 70 percent of the current curriculum will be cut, with learning competencies to be reduced to around 3,600 from over 11,000 to give more time to what DepEd called foundational skills for a better learning outcome.

What changes will it implement?

In the current K-10 curriculum, there are seven identified learning areas. These include the Mother Tongue, Filipino, English, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies), MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health), and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Humanities). 

However, in the new curriculum, learning areas in early levels will be reduced from seven to five: Language, Reading and Literacy, Math, Makabansa, and Good Manners and Right Conduct.

List of subjects in current and MATATAG Curriculum.

"Grade 1 students will be studying standalone 'Language' and 'Reading and Literacy' subjects connected to developing good literacy skills needed in learning other subjects," Andaya explained.

These two subjects will then become English and Filipino in Grade 2.

When a student reaches the third grade, Science will be added. From grades 4 to 6, other subjects will be added such as Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE), and MAPEH, with GMRC renamed as Values Education.

“Ito iyong mga dadalhin ng mga bata na kahit tapos na siya sa pagaaral sa isang baitang ay dadalhin niya sa susunod na baitang. Hindi niya ito makakalimutan,” she added.

Andaya also explained that kindergarten learning will use a “play-based approach” and formal subjects will only begin during the first grade.

Meanwhile, Duterte also mentioned the integration of Peace Education in several learning areas of the revised K-10 curriculum. 

“The new K to 10 curriculum will integrate peace competencies — highlighting the promotion of non-violent actions and the development of conflict-resolution skills in learners. For, after all, there is security, there is peace,” she said.

It will introduce topics like conflict resolution, human security, community resilience, and disaster risk reduction which will make learners aware of seeking peaceful resolutions even inside the classroom, according to Andaya. 

When will it be implemented? 

The MATATAG K-10 Curriculum will be implemented in a phased approach over five years. The new curriculum will be rolled out as follows:

  • Kindergarten and Grades 1, 4, and 7 in SY 2024-2025
  • Grades 2, 5, and 8 in SY 2025-2026
  • Grades 3, 6, and 9 in SY 2026-2027
  • Grade 10 in SY 2027-2028
Other key features

DepEd spokesman Undersecretary Michael Wesley Poa clarified that the new curriculum did not remove the use of mother tongue learning as it is indicated in the K to 12 law.

He said that language curriculum will underline the development of oral language skills for communication in the language that the learners will understand, which is essential in developing foundational skills. In other words, the mother tongue will still be used as a medium of instruction but will no longer be taught as a subject.

DepEd noted that class hours will remain the same even though the adjusted curriculum decongests the learning competencies. 

Meanwhile, the curriculum for senior high school is still under review, and it hopes to complete it by next year.