DepEd Wraps Up K-10 Review: Anticipates New Curriculum Launch in Coming Weeks

Joanna Marie O. Santos
August 14, 2023

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On August 29, classes in all public schools will open for a new school year. Brigada Eskwela has started. Parents are flocking with their kids to bookstores to buy school supplies. Next year, students will have one more thing to prepare for: the newly revised K-10 curriculum that will welcome them into their classrooms.


This month, the Department of Education (DepEd) has launched MATATAG K–10, the new and uncongested Kinder to Grade 10 curriculum. This action is a response to some issues found in the previous curriculum, which was overloaded with too many lessons required to be taught in a very limited time. MATATAG K-10 aims to address this nationwide learning crisis by reducing the number of learning areas.


But what changes does this new curriculum entail, and how will it affect students from Kinder to Junior High? Here’s your guide to the new curriculum.


Photo: via Asian Development Bank


What Is MATATAG K-10 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. 


The launch of this MATATAG K-10 Curriculum will be uncongested as students have struggled with the overload of subjects, affecting their performance in school. After a thorough review by experts, about 70% of the current curriculum will be cut from the new syllabus. Learning competencies will also be reduced from over 11,000 to around 3,600. It aims for a balanced cognitive demand for a better learning outcome as the students progress through grade levels. 


The “MATATAG” curriculum is applicable to private schools as well.


What Are The Objectives Of The New Curriculum?


With the previous curriculum, students struggled with the excessive amount of lessons they had to learn on top of other school tasks and activities. This compromised their fundamental skills such as reading and solving simple math problems, according to Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte. 


“The past years showed us the alarmingly poor performance of Filipino learners in national and international assessments,” claimed Duterte.


Teachers aren’t able to adequately teach their students in limited hours a day with the heavy workload. The results are concerning, and DepEd worries about the quality and delivery of our basic education. To solve this crisis, MATATAG K-10 will reduce the number of learning areas and focus on the foundational skills of learners.


What Are The Changes In The New Curriculum?


The new curriculum will introduce some major changes in classrooms. Previously, there were seven identified learning areas, namely Mother Tongue, Filipino, English, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies), MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health), and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (Humanities). 


  • Five learning areas

In the new curriculum, learning areas in early levels will be reduced to five: Language, Reading and Literacy, Math, Makabansa, and Good Manners and Right Conduct. These are the new foundational subjects that will be given more focus. 


Specifically, these are the subjects that will be added or focused on per grade level:

  • Grade 1- Reading and literacy, language, mathematics, Makabansa, GMRC

  • Grade 2- Filipino, English, math, Makabansa, GMRC

  • Grade 3- Filipino, English, math, Makabansa, GMRC, science

  • Grades 4 to 10- Filipino, English, math, science, Araling Panlipunan (social studies), technology and livelihood education, GMRC (renamed as Values Education from here on), MAPEH


  • Peace competencies

Additionally, the new curriculum will integrate peace competencies for the promotion of non-violent actions and the development of conflict-resolution skills in learners. The makabansa subject area will include topics like conflict resolution, human security, community resilience, and disaster risk reduction. 


  • Mother Tongue removed as a subject

Meanwhile, “Mother Tongue” will no longer be a separate subject, and instead be incorporated into other subjects. This is because it has caused confusion between subjects Filipino and Mother Tongue among teachers specifically in the Luzon area. 


Other local leaders have also blamed its implementation as a medium of instruction and a class for why their students fall behind in language and math skills. Now, the language curriculum will be focused on the development of communication skills and taught in the language the learners speak. 


When Will The New Curriculum Be Implemented?


The new K-10 curriculum will be introduced in phases starting the next school year. It will be rolled out over the next five years 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


The Road to Effective Learning System


Filipino students are in a learning crisis. With the tons of lessons they are subjected to five days a week in crowded classrooms, sharing worn-out textbooks, plus their piles of school tasks and extracurricular activities, they just aren’t absorbing what they are supposed to learn. A World Bank study showed that over 90% of Filipino learners struggled to read and comprehend age-appropriate text.


The deterioration of our quality of education in recent years, mainly a result of the previous school lockdowns, called for a reform in our education system, hence the newly launched K-10 curriculum. MATATAG brings an uncongested curriculum to focus on the development of learners’ foundational skills in literacy and numeracy in primary education. Furthermore, it is set to promote the well-being of students and provide greater support to teachers.