Kindergarten Education Act now a year older-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
ALMOST a year now, when President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law the Republic Act 10157, known as “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefore.”
This Act adds one year compulsory preparatory education for children at least five years old as a prerequisite for Grade I.
For many years, kindergarten education is status symbols for some.
Only those who have money can send their children to kindergarten class and experience preschool education.
It is not free.
Parents will pay a monthly tuition fee for the teacher of their children; they should buy books, coloring books and other materials that are needed by their child during kindergarten class.
For the reason that kindergarten class is not mandatory and compulsory before, some of the parents will just let their child enter Grade I without undergoing pre-school education because of economic reasons or the child is already ready to enter school.
As a result, children that did not pass the preschool class are way behind compare to the children that had undergone this stage. To solve this problem and to make children ready for entering Grade I, the R.A. 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Act was passed to give all children the equal rights to undergo the kindergarten education.
This act shall apply to elementary school system being the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education.
The kindergarten will now be an integral part of the basic education system of the country.
This is in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015.
The State now will provide equal opportunities for all children to avail of accessible mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education that effectively promotes physical, social, intellectual, emotional and skills stimulation and values formation to sufficiently prepare them for formal elementary schooling.
Curriculum planner believes that kindergarten education is vital to the academic and technical development of the Filipino child for it is the period when the young mind’s absorptive capacity for learning is at its sharpest.
To make the kindergarten education learner-oriented and responsive to the needs of the diversity of learners, one of the features of this Act is to adopt the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) method.
The mother tongue of the learners shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning in the kindergarten level. However, the MTB-MLE cannot be use in some cases: when the pupils in the kindergarten classroom have different mother tongues or when some of them speak another mother tongue; when the teacher does not speak the mother tongue of the learners; when resources, in line with the use of the mother tongue are not yet available; and when teachers are not yet trained how to use the MTB-MLE program. With these exceptional cases, the school shall determine what is the primary medium of instruction based on DepEd Order No. 74, series of 2009.
Hope that through this Act, the goals of the government in education will be achieved and the problem of the Department of illiteracy will be eradicated if not totally removed. (Rommel L. Manzano)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 24, 2013.