One of the more stirring reforms in the past two decades in the field of education is Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (“Enhanced Basic Education Act”). Passed by Congress on January 30, 2013 and approved by the President on May 15, 2013, the law in its full name stands as “An Act Enhancing the Philippine Basic Education System by Strengthening its Curriculum and Increasing the Number of Years for Basic Education, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.” The law became effective on June 4, 2013.
Much debate accompanied the passage of the law. Primarily, the statute mandates the incorporation of two more years of high school to our basic ten-year education cycle. Critics say the added two years translate only to a financial burden to parents who can barely afford to send their children to school, to say nothing of how it fails to accurately address the lack of quality education in the country. Proponents, on the other hand, suggest that the added time will allow students to learn their lessons with mastery, thereby ensuring their global competitiveness in the long run. Wherever the debates may lead, the passage of the law urges us to look forward and observe how the new law might create for us new gains in employment and socio-economic growth. The first batch of students to begin the K-12 cycle will finish the full program in 2024. (See http://www.gov.ph/k-12/#Features)