December 5, 2023

The Matatag program of the Department of Education, better known as the recalibrated K to 10 basic education curriculum, is a sustainable program of the national government for quality basic education in the country. It is a masterpiece of the DepEd with the aim to raise the bar of quality basic education and the quality of life in the country as a whole.
The program can be described as a journey in life; a peace education or a roadmap for peace and development in the country. It is also inclusive and global because it is designed to address the challenges of the learners with special needs with integration of indigenous peoples education, specifically on the indigenous knowledge, skills and practices of IP groups in the country.
It focuses on addressing the demands of globalization in which the learners will be armed with literacy, numeracy, and the 21st century skills including life and career skills that empower them to manage and navigate the challenges in the changing world. It is also designed to address the learning gaps in basic education or the rising rate of learning poverty in the country, in which learners cannot read and comprehend a text appropriate to their age and grade level according to findings revealed by an international research team.
The Matatag program is a result of a two-year comprehensive review on the contents and learning competencies of the basic education curriculum in the country by a group of experts from the different public and private learning institutions including experts from other countries that have excellent system in basic education program. Based on research findings and consolidated reports from the review processes, the learning competencies were reduced by at least 70 percent to focus on the strong fundamental skills vis-à-vis the philosophy of the Matatag program agenda: Bansang makabata, batang makabansa.
Lesson exemplars for the week in every learning area containing the learning competencies and suggested learning activities were crafted by the learning area specialists of the Bureau of Learning Delivery, DepEd central office as teaching guides for the teachers.
The program was presented to the public through regional trainings and orientations of teachers of the pilot schools nationwide before its formal phase implementation that started on Sept. 25 this school year for kindergarten and grades 1, 4 and 7. The orientation aimed to capacitate teachers or empower them to implement the program. They were made to understand and internalize the basic features, changes, purpose, contents, and the rationale of the program including the commitment and accountability of teachers and school leaders as frontliners.
But the issues on the quality of human and non-human resources can be among the initial challenges affecting the effective implementation of the program as the best and the brightest ones in the organization are looking for greener pastures.
According to the 2023 reports from the World Bank, the high learning poverty rate in the country with 91 percent can be attributed to the negative impacts of the blended learning modalities during the Covid-19 pandemic, ineffective teaching practices, and poor teaching quality.