The Kindergarten Act --- What You Must Know
If your child is five (5) years old, he or she should be in school, or at least, schooled at home.
That in a nutshell summarizes RA 10157 otherwise known as the Kindergarten Act. According to this law, kindergarten is compulsory and mandatory for all children who are five (5) years old.
The preparation of the child for Grade 1 is the reason for this requirement. Kindergarten, says the DepEd, is to be the stepping stone before formal education commences at Grade 1.
The DepEd delved exhaustively on "developmental domains" in their report entitled "Standards and Competencies for Five-Year-Old Filipino Children". The domains are:
- Pagpapaunlad sa Kakayahang Sosyo-Emosyunal;
- Kagandang Asal;
- Kalusugang Pisikal at Pagpapaunlad ng Kakayahang Motor;
- Understand Physical and Natural Environment; and
- Language, Literacy and Communication.
Although some experts advise against formal education before the age of 6, like those from this website and this, RA 10157 appears to slightly reinforce the sentiment of the proponents of the classical approach --- "the child is seen as being in the process of blossoming --- like a flower bud whose development should not be forced lest it lose its chance to fully mature." (Page 3 of the DepEd report)
Hopefully, regular schools and homeschooling parents will be mindful of how the DepEd guide looks at the child --- a blossoming bud. Expert opinion may vary but they all seem to agree on one thing: --- we are not to nip the bud by jumping to formal and rigorous instruction too soon. After all, play and wonder is the kindergartner's world.
"Provision of varied play-based activities leads them to becoming emergent literates and helps them to naturally acquire the competencies to develop holistically," the report explained.
To read the printable DepEd Guide, click here.