Senate okays measure making kindergarten education mandatory

November 21, 2011 11:03 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 21 -– The Senate unanimously approved on Monday on third and final reading a bill seeking to make kindergarten education mandatory for children five years old and below before entering elementary school.

All 19 senators present voted for the House Bill 3826 or known as Kindergarten Education Act of 2011 sponsored by Senator Edgardo Angara in the Senate.

Angara said the Kindergarten Education Act was written to be as flexible as possible — the curriculum is unspecified, and dependent on the educational establishment implementing the measure.

”Local government units also need not worry about a lack of funding for infrastructure because they can make use of the day care centers established in almost every barangay as classrooms for Kindergarten,” he said.

Angara said he believed that the measure, especially when coupled with the K12 curriculum which will add two more years of senior high school, will raise the quality of Filipino education.

In his sponsorship speech, Angara said the six years of primary schooling in the Philippines fall well below international standards.

"Because we lack the prescribed number of years in school, our engineering graduates are only hired as engineering assistants, and our nurses as nursing aids, when they go abroad," he said.

"Why did we add a year before Grade 1 and not after Grade 6? Because in the Philippines, we have the highest drop-out rate in grades one to three — partly not because of poverty, but also because so many of these children begin school ill-equipped for the rigors of the new environment of the classroom," Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, added. (PNA)

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