President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave the Department of Education a year to complete its review of the K to 12 curriculum, DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said in a television interview.

“The President gave us a timeline of around a year to finish the review,” Poa told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

He said the review for the curriculum for kinder to Grade 10 has been concluded while the review for the senior high school grades has just started.

“We are trying to decongest our curriculum to focus on the essential subjects and the basics, like math, reading, science,” he said.

“We want to really look at literacy in a way that we’ll be able to inculcate not just foundational literacy but also functional literacy,” Poa added.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte earlier said the government wants a more responsive curriculum.

She said in its present form, the K to 12 curriculum is “congested.”

“Some prerequisites of identified essential learning competencies are missing or misplaced,” Duterte said.

The chair of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture on Wednesday said it is crucial to introduce adjustments to the K to 12 curriculum that will equip graduates with the necessary skills and competencies to make them employable.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, committee chair and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said he agrees with Duterte’s plan to revise the curriculum to ensure graduates are more job-ready.

“Just like what Vice President Sara said, we need to start with curriculum adjustment. Because these are what [industries] are looking for—the competencies, skills, talents. We must equip our students with these and build their capacity. That’s why we need to adjust the curriculum to make it simplified and attuned to the needs of the Filipino youth who want to get jobs after K to 12,” he said.

“We just have to ensure that whatever the K to 12 students will learn would prepare them for the jobs that await them. If we are able to do that, then I think, the additional burden of two years would gradually be lifted,” he added.

According to the Bureau of Curriculum Development, 83 percent of SHS graduates pursued higher education, while only 10 percent of graduates were employed.