Press Release
February 1, 2019

Computer science should be part of K-12 Program - Pimentel

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has filed a bill proposing the inclusion of computer science in the curriculum of the K-12 Program, integrating the subject as early as kindergarten level.

"This bill seeks to integrate computer science in all levels of the enhanced basic education curriculum. By introducing computer science fundamentals to our students, as early as possible and in an age-appropriate manner, we are effectively equipping them with the proper tools needed to make them capable digital age citizens and also preparing them for global competitiveness," Pimentel said in the explanatory note of his Senate Bill No. 2143.

In filing his bill, Pimentel lamented that the current enhanced basic education program is inadequate to meet the needs of the times.

"Our ranking in the 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Index where our overall ranking is 56 out of 137 countries and only 61 in the 'innovation and sophistication factors' subindex, reflects this reality," he said.

The bill provides that the Department of Education (DepEd) shall work with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in ensuring the computerization of all government-run schools offering the K-12 program, provide necessary training for teachers, formulate the design and details of the computer science subjects and ensure the incorporation in the instruction of all subjects at all levels the needed computer and modern technology skills.

In mandating the integration of computer science education into the curriculum of the K-12 Program, basic subjects such as computer literacy and information and communication technology (ICT) will be offered to students at all levels beginning kindergarten.

"This would ensure that foundational computer programming skills needed for higher level education are developed in children as soon as practicable," Pimentel said.

Pimentel proposed a revision in the K-12 Program to create a computer science and ICT strand under the academic track offered to senior high school students.

This would mean that the ICT strand presently under the Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) tracks will be repositioned and be placed under the Academic Track.

Under the K-12 Program, each student in senior high school can choose among three tracks -- academic, TVL and sports and arts.

Academic Track includes three strands which are business, accountancy, management (BAM); humanities, education, social sciences (HESS); and science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM). It is intended for students wanting to pursue higher education after they graduate in senior high.

The proposed measure ensures the allocation of funds in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for its implementation which will include the provision of necessary computer hardware and software to all the schools nationwide by the DICT.

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