PH sports academy urged to expedite curriculum for other grade levels
MANILA, Philippines — The National Academy of Sports (NAS) has been urged by lawmakers to expedite the creation of a curriculum for Grades 9, 10, and for the Senior High levels, as the educational institution only offers Grades 7 and 8 as of now.
During the hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on basic education and culture on Tuesday, panel chairperson and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo asked NAS Executive Director Josephine Joy Reyes regarding the status of the curriculum that would be submitted for the Department of Education (DepEd), for implementation in schools outside of the NAS campus at the New Clark City.
In response, Reyes said that they have submitted to DepEd the curriculum for Grades 7 and 8 — or previously known as first-year and second-year high schools — but they are still crafting the curriculum for Grades 9 to 12.
“For now Mr. Chair, it’s not been done yet, but we are preparing the curriculum — we are yet to prepare Grade 9, so we are still in progress of crafting and designing our Grade 9 curriculum. It has not been yet completed up to Grade 12,” Reyes said.
“So what is the cause of delay? Because you would have no problems with the academic track because DepEd should be part of your Board, and DepEd should be able to contribute with ease on the academic track, so the delay is on the part of the sports training?” Romulo asked, in a mix of Filipino and English.
Reyes answered by saying that they have been in consultation with DepEd, adding that the curriculum for Grades 7 and 8 has been submitted to the department for review.
Romulo, on the other hand, highlighted that the curriculum is important not only for NAS, but also for the country’s entire education system as it would be used as a basis for students who want to get into the sports track for their Senior High studies. The NAS official meanwhile responded that they would be able to finish the curriculum in a year.
“Based on your own report, you mentioned to us that you are ready, that your seven areas of sports are ready for training. With DepEd being with you, so what is the delay, why can’t you progress easily to Grades 9 and 10 curriculum and 11 and 12?” Romulo asked.
“Actually, we are short-staffed at the NAS; the time that we were crafting the Grade 7 and 8, actually we are doing it on a yearly basis now, but we are hoping that we’ll be able to finish even the senior high school by next year, that is our target Mr. Chair,” Reyes said.
“So at least medyo buo na (it is almost complete) because again po no, I think it is laudable what you have done during the height of the pandemic […] but again the purpose of the law was not simply for us to establish one school, or develop student-athletes in the New Clark City, we want to develop our student-athletes throughout the Philippines,” Romulo answered back.
But Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro noted that the one-year timetable might be too long, especially if the government wants to accelerate the application of a sports track in the Senior High system.
She also seconded Romulo’s views that the law — Republic Act No. 11470, which established the National Sports Academy — was crafted not only for the NAS at the New Clark City but for the whole country’s benefit.
“‘Yong one year timeframe na sinasabi to develop the curriculum for the other years, mukhang medyo matagal especially now na talagang gusto na natin talagang ma-full blast itong curriculum natin for the sports track,” Castro said.
(The one year timeframe allotted to develop the curriculum for the other years seems quite long, especially now that we want to operate the curriculum for the sports track at a full blast.)
“I think the response that we’re expecting from NAS is that they have their guidelines for the New Clark City campus, but that they are also looking towards the sports track for the K to 12 system, where anyone who wishes to enroll in the K to 12 should be allowed access, they should not be hand-picked, that is why looking for student-athletes should be mass-based,” Romulo added.
Last March 2020, the House approved on third reading a bill designed to create the NAS. It was signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte in June 2020, but implementation encountered delays due to the government focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The search for student-athletes started in 2021, opening its inaugural batch that year.