Education department welcomes passage of Kindergarten Law-A A +A
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
THE Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed Monday the passage of Republic Act 10157, or the Universal Kindergarten Bill into law, saying it would allow the agency greater elbow room to institute reforms in the country’s basic education system, especially at the pre-school level.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the passage of the law would boost the department’s effort to deliver quality education to school children in line with the country’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Education For All (EFA) by 2015.
“The Kindergarten Education Act is just among the components of our thrust to push for serious education reforms. This should be propelled by strong political will and commitment to help the school children reach their maximum potential through a variety of carefully selected and meaningful experiences just like what is expected of a premium kindergarten education program,” Luistro said.
The policy statement of the new law provides for equal opportunities for all children to avail themselves 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 education.
The DepEd chief likewise said its passage marks a milestone as it achieved one of the 10-point education agenda of the Aquino administration and that by institutionalizing pre-school education in the country, it will not be affected by any changes in the political landscape.
In 2011, DepEd has implemented the universal public kindergarten program for five-year-olds to give new entrants to basic education the proper preparation on the rigors of schooling as it continues to explore possibilities that will scale up basic education performance in the country.
For the next school year, kindergarten education shall be made mandatory and compulsory for entrance to Grade 1.
As stated in the law, kindergarten education shall apply to elementary school system being the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education. Thus, kindergarten will now be an integral part of the basic education system of the country, Luistro explained.
Moreover, he said the DepEd shall adopt the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) method as the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning to pre-school kids.
Last January 28, the department mandated an early registration for the coming school year for pre-school age children, as well as Grade 1 pupils and first year high school students. This year’s campaign would also include out-of-school children (OSC), out-of-school youth (OSY) and learners with disability.
It is the second time that the DepEd has come up with the early registration drive. Last year, about 1.2 million five-year-old kids have availed themselves of the early registration undertaken by the department though Luistro admitted that left more than half a million who did not pre-register despite the massive information drive.
Of the 17 regions in the country, Luistro said Central Luzon has the highest turn-out of pre-registrants with more than 110,000 followed by Calabarzon, which recorded over 105,000.
At present, about 1.93 million kids are attending some 15,841 public and private pre-schools nationwide. (AH/Sunnex)