Department of Education

New K-10 curriculum in the Philippines: What you need to know

Ryan Macasero

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New K-10 curriculum in the Philippines: What you need to know

FACE TO FACE. Students attend and participate in the afternoon class at the Piñahan Elementary School in Quezon City as they return to school after the holiday break, on January 4, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

Know the reasons for revising the curriculum, what subjects were scrapped, and if 'Matatag' will be applicable to private schools here

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) launched its “Matatag” (Firm) curriculum on Thursday, August 10.

The new curriculum is supposed to be a response to the learning crisis in the Philippines.

The new curriculum, according to DepEd, “decongests” foundational subjects to allow learners to focus on literacy and numeracy skills.

Here’s what you need to know about the “Matatag” curriculum:

When will the new curriculum be effective?

The DepEd will introduce the new curriculum in phases, first to kinder, grades 1, 4, and 7 in the 2024-2025 school year.

This will be followed by grades 2, 5, and 8 in 2025; then 3, 6 and 9 in 2026, and grade 10 by 2027.

By 2028, the DepEd expects full implementation of the new curriculum.

Select schools, however, will already be a part of the pilot implementation, to polish the curriculum and its teaching even further.

Reasons for revising curriculum

“The past years showed us the alarmingly poor performance of Filipino learners in national and international assessments,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said during the curriculum launch on Monday.

A World Bank study showed that over 90% of learners struggled to comprehend age-appropriate text.

The DepEd found that teachers and students struggled with having too many subjects to study, hence the need to “decongest” the curriculum.

“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,” 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.

DepEd curriculum director Jocelyn Andaya said during her speech that they “decongested” the current curriculum by 70%.

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Will senior high be scrapped?


The DepEd is also reviewing the senior high curriculum (Grades 10-12) and will unveil the revisions sometime in 2024.

Which subjects will remain?
New K-10 curriculum in the Philippines: What you need to know

Previously, the K-10 curriculum focused on Filipino, English, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan (social studies), Mapeh (music, arts, physical education, and health), and Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (humanities).

The current foundational subjects focus on five areas:

  • Language
  • Reading and literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Makabansa (nationalism)
  • Good manners and right conduct (GMRC)

Per grade, the subjects will focus on the following:

  • 1st grade – Reading and literacy, language, mathematics, Makabansa, GMRC
  • 2nd grade – Filipino, English, math, Makabansa, GMRC
  • 3rd grade – Filipino, English, math, Makabansa, GMRC, science
  • 4th to 10th grade: Filipino, English, math, science, Araling Panlipunan (social studies), technology and livelihood education, GMRC, MAPEH
What will happen to the mother tongue subjects?

“Mother tongue” will no longer be taught as a subject, but will be incorporated into other subjects, according to the Department of Education.

Andaya said language class, for example, would focus on general communication skills but will use the language most commonly spoken in the locality.

Ang gagamitin dito ay iyong lengguwahe na alam ng bata (What will be used here is the language the child knows), the language that the learners speak,” Andaya said.

Some local leaders have blamed the implementation of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction and a class as the reason for students falling behind in language and math skills.

In Cebu province, for example, Governor Gwen Garcia moved to ban the use of the mother tongue in classrooms as early as 2019. Although, the local DepEd office said they could only follow the curriculum implemented by DepEd, which required the use of the mother tongue. (READ: Gwen Garcia asks Cebu schools to stop teaching in Cebuano)

Is the new curriculum applicable to private schools?

Yes, the new “Matatag” curriculum is applicable to private schools.

But private institutions have the discretion to require additional subjects such as religious education, which is not required in public schools.

Which subjects will teach ‘peace competencies?’

An additional feature of the new curriculum is the incorporation of “peace competencies.”

“[The curriculum] highlights non-violent actions and the development of conflict-resolution skills in learners,” Duterte said. (READ: Sara Duterte brings red-tagging to DepEd)

“For after all, there is security, there is peace,” she added.

Peace concepts will be taught in the “makabansa” (nationalist) subject area.

Although the curriculum for “makabansa” has yet to be fully threshed out, according to a presentation of the curriculum sent to reporters, the subject focuses on “molding an ‘aktibong mag-aaral’ (active studentry).”

For the DepEd, this means a student who is “healthy, resilient and patriotic; has awareness [of] and pride [in] his/her identity, as well as of his/her country’s history, arts and culture; and has knowledge [of] and skills in fulfilling her/her duties as a responsible citizen, having the ability to contribute to the progress of his/her community, and country as a whole.”

When will learning materials be ready?

The text materials for the new curriculum will be under development soon to prepare for the 2024-2025 school year rollout.

The DepEd will convene textbook suppliers to create and review the materials that will be used in the new curriculum soon. –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at