03 April 2011

DepEd to Implement Kindergarten Summer Program

To universalize quality assured kindergarten education and to ensure that all Grade 1 entrants have developed the necessary learning experiences to prepare them for academic work, the Department of Education (DepEd) will implement an eight-week Kindergarten Summer Program (KSP) in all schools
nationwide from April 11 to June 3, 2011. 

“When young children are better prepared on the ways of school life, they develop a positive attitude in schooling. Thus, they value learning more, strive to excel and are more likely to finish basic education. This is what we want our young children to develop – value for education – through KSP,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro. 

Through DepEd Order No. 23, series 2011, Kindergarten Summer Program (KSP): A Strategy to Reach More Children, the department is set to strengthen its campaign towards achieving the Education For All (EFA) goal by catering to children who will be Grade I by June 2011. 

The program will cater to those prospective Grade 1 entrants without preschool experience by June 2011. These children could be aged or above five years and six months in April 2011. 

Studies reveal how early schooling positively affects students’ completion of elementary and secondary education. 

The Philippine Education For All (EFA) 2015 Plan of Action cites that attaining success in the first grade encourages children to complete elementary education. This condition supports the findings of worldwide studies, that, children exposed to the quality of preschool experiences determine their performance in the higher grades.  

To yield more EFA benefits, DepEd- Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE) continuously expands and intensifies the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) / kindergarten education coverage to all children aged three to five years.

BEE has implemented the Preschool Program since 1970. However, as of 2010, only 79% of the 2.4 million kindergarten children from both public and private schools had been reached. This shows the low readiness level of Grade 1 children and the high incidence of non-readers and drop outs prevailing until
Grade 3. 

“DepEd recognizes all these. That is why as far as our EFA goal is concerned, we are serious in the implementation of the universal public kindergarten program for 5-year olds and this KSP for new Grade I entrants,” Luistro stressed. 

In line with the implementation of KSP, permanent Kindergarten teachers and those who were hired under the DepEd Subsidized Kindergarten Programduring the school year shall handle the Kindergarten Summer Classes (KSCs). A class shall have a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 25 enrollees. 

In cases where the prospective enrollees are located in remote barangays, which are four kilometers away from each other, an itinerant teacher (IT) shall be assigned to handle classes in two adjacent barangays, with each class having at least eight enrollees. 

Luistro directed all schools to conduct an advocacy forum or meetings with the local government units (LGUs) and parents to orient them on the importance of the program and thus draw-in community support. They shall also prepare the Kindergarten classroom to ensure a child-friendly, safe, and motivating learning environment by seeking support from the local government and other stakeholders in making the learning environment as attractive, conducive, and effective as possible for children to gain an optimum summer kindergarten experience. 

All implementing schools shall use the enriched Eight-week Kindergarten Summer Program curriculum. The kindergarten instructional materials – manipulative toys, songs in CD format, big books and storybooks distributed by the BEE shall be used. Schools, however, are provided authority to seek support from the local government unit (LGU) in augmenting the existing instructional materials and/or equipment.

“As the 2015 deadline draws nearer, a lot of challenging tasks still need to be addressed. What is important is that we are anchored on the right direction in meeting our commitment,” said Luistro.

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