Metro Manila, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday started the pilot implementation of the MATATAG K-10 program in Tinajeros National High School in Malabon City.

The recalibrated program will be implemented in Grade 7 in the school, which comprises 19 sections with a total of 681 students.

Present during the event were DepEd Undersecretary Gina Gonong, DepEd Malabon Superintendent Dr. Cecille Carandang, and Malabon City Mayor Jeannie Sandoval.

Aside from Tinajeros National High School, four other schools from Malabon are part of the initial run of the decongested curriculum. These are Damapalit Integrated School, Santiago Syjuco Memorial School, Muzon Elementary School, and Santiago Syjuco Memorial Integrated Secondary School.

Speaking to reporters after the flag ceremony, Sandoval said the selection of five pilot schools was “very challenging,” but the local government is ready to provide the necessary support and aid they need.The pilot run of the MATATAG curriculum will cover a total of 35 schools in Cordillera Administrative Region, Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas, Soccsksargen, and Caraga.

This was supposed to be implemented in time for the opening of the school year 2023 to 2024, but was pushed to Sept. 25 because the pilot areas were not immediately finalized.

Its formal rollout will begin in Kinder, and Grade levels 1, 4, and 7 by school year 2024 to 2025; Grades 2, 5, and 8 by school year 2025 to 2026; Grades 3, 6, and 9 by school year 2026 to 2027; and Grade 10 by school year 2027 to 2028.

CNN Philippines’ EJ Gomez contributed to this report.