BONTOC, Mt. Province -- Six hundred and eighteen children in Mt. Province will undergo a six-week Summer Preschool Education before they enter first grade for the school year 2010–2011.

These are the children who have not attended any preschool classes, especially in the barangays where there are no established preschool classes.

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This is based on Department of Education (DepEd) Order 8, s. 2010 regarding Summer Preschool Education (SumPSE): A Strategy to Reach More Children in Less Time.

The order requires all grade one entrants to attend a six week summer preschool class that starts from April 12 to May 21.

It is provided in the order that permanent preschool teachers and grade one teachers with Early Childhood Education trainings will handle the summer preschool classes. They will be paid an honorarium of P4,500 to be charged against preschool funds.

A class shall have a minimum of 20 and maximum of 25 enrollees.

For multi-grade schools, an enrolment of at least 10 can be considered a class since the prescribed class size may not always be possible due to its location.

Based on the data submitted by DepEd Mt. Province, there are only two classes having 20 and 24 children and 33 classes having less than 20 children, the lowest of which is six.

In the multi-grade schools, there are nine classes with 10 or more children per class and six classes with less than 10 children.

Benilda M. Daytaca, division preschool coordinator, said classes with less than the required number of children cannot be merged as one class since the children come from different barangays that are far from each other. (Juliet B. Saley)