Pinoy kids now required to pass kindergarten

Filipino children are now required to finish kindergarten before they are allowed to enrol in Grade 1 in public schools. The House of Representatives has approved on 3rd and final reading House Bill 3826 institutionalizing kindergarten education for Filipinos 5 years old and above who want to study in public schools.

The Kindergarten Education Act, which will be implemented in 2012 if enacted into law this year, assures free tuition for public kindergarten school students.

“The child’s early years are the best in terms of molding them, where the child’s sense of wonder is best sharpened and learning is best initiated,” said Cebu City Rep. Rachel Marguerite Del Mar, one of the authors of the bill.

Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Thelma Almario, another sponsor of the bill, said in a press statement that recent studies show 40% of children who were enrolled in Grade 1 in public schools are not qualified to enter the first grade.

“This is the reason why most of those who entered Grade 1 were not able to finish the elementary level,” Almario said.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, another proponent of the measure, said it is government’s responsibility to provide funds for the education program.

He added that said more parents are sending their children to private schools because they consider public schools lagging in terms of quality education.

“In the past decades, students from public schools became merit oblation scholars at the University of the Philippines. Now, more merit and oblation scholars are mostly produced from the private
schools,” he added.

“The proposal to institutionalize kindergarten education is one way to put both the public and private schools on equal footing,” Angara said.

Teachers Dignity Coalition earlier expressed apprehension over the lack of kindergarten teachers for the over 500,000 kindergarten pupils attending school in June.

The group said the government needs to make sure that teachers, classrooms, and facilities are in place for the universal kindergarten program to succeed in the country. – via

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