Early training-A A +A
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
PRE-SCHOOL training for children appears to be the fashion of the times. My great grandniece was an enrollee in one of the pre-schools opened recently in our town. All of almost four years old, she was at once awed and fascinated with the thought of seeing other kids like her gathered together in a two-hour class.
I was told that during her first day in school she watched other children romp around in class, and she did not hesitate to answer questions when asked. Then she was given the list of requirements she would need: uniform, school supplies, and monthly dues.
I still haven’t been told the total cost. I am still in the dark on who will shoulder the salary of the teachers since they are not, I think, part of the new education system. Just the same, I could not help thinking of the advocacy of the Valenzuela City mayor who visited Cebu not very long ago.
I was reminded of him when I read about the secretary of education asking Canada to recognize our college graduates even if they are trained only for ten years in school. The Valenzuela City mayor called for extra training for school kids so that they will be better equipped for life when they leave school.
He said that those who couldn’t go to college due to financial distress can use their knowledge in different technical skills such as basic information technology (computer repair), welding, automotive, machine shop and high speed sewing that would qualify them for high-paying industrial jobs.
Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian also bats for “early childhood development where… parents and pre-school teachers (become) best partners in ascertaining (the) aberrations of children.” In a sense, he considers the pre-school education of children as part and parcel of the Filipino child’s learning curve, something which I do not think forms part of the new school system that starts only from kindergarten.
If this be so, how much would the “additional training” cost? The Philippines in year 2000, based on the data that Gatchalian provided to back up his advocacy for early childhood training, only had 32,787 day care centers spread throughout the country’s 41,943 barangays.
But then, that was more than a decade ago. Could we presume that the number of pre-schools or day care centers has doubled? If we can, the cost of early training should be more than double now. Include in this data children with disabilities that only early childhood school could detect.
I agree with Gatchalian that a child would best pass through pre-school in order for us parents to be sure they will eventually grow to become useful Filipino citizens.
But then, looking at my great grandniece, Jeddah Agatha, at what cost to us?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 27, 2012.