Universal kindergarten now a law
Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC welcomes the passing of the Universal Kindergarten Bill into law, - the Republic Act (R.A.) 10157, giving the department more elbow room to institutionalize reforms in basic education which include the implementation of the universal kindergarten program in all public schools.
“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,” said Luistro in a ceremonial presentation of the Kindergarten Education Act at the Malacañang Palace on Monday, February 27, 2012.
No less than His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered the keynote address, declaring the policy statement of the new law – to 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 education.
Luistro seconded that by saying “with the Kindergarten Education Act, DepEd believes that it can achieve more in delivering quality education to the school children in line with its commitment Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015.”
Among the ten-point education agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the universal kindergarten program will prepare the young learners for the rigors of regular schooling. Specifically, the R.A. 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Act is important so that the program becomes a permanent stage in the school children’s school life without it being affected by changes in the political landscape.
R.A. 10157 or “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefore” marks a milestone reached by the Aquino government – an achievement of one of the President’s education agenda four years ahead of the target year.
In 2011, DepEd has implemented the universal public kindergarten program for 5-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 Act, 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.
Moreover, DepEd shall adopt the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) method. The mother tongue of the learner shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning in the kindergarten level.