Educating The Pre-Schoolers

The two-month summer vacation for students in the Philippines is almost over and schools will open in a week time. Until the last school year, seven (7) years old was the required age for a child to enter the formal education in the country but beginning this coming School Year (SY) 2011-2012, the entry age is lowered to six (6) years old for those who will enroll in Grade One. This is in accordance with the new K+12 Basic Education Program which will be implemented for the first time this coming school year.

K+12 Basic Education Program means Kindergarten plus twelve (12) years of studies before entering college so children who will enter Grade One must have finished at least one year of pre-school. After Kindergarten, the following 12 years of education will now replace the 10-year basic education program which used to be six (6) years in Elementary Level and four (4) years in High School (also called as Secondary Level). The new 12 years of formal basic education will still require 6 years to graduate with Elementary School diploma, 4 years to have a Junior High School diploma and another 2 years to be called a Senior High School graduate. It is only after graduating from Senior High School that a student can pursue his collegiate study to obtain a Baccalaureate (Bachelor’s) degree.

Our ‘apo’ (grandchild) celebrated her fourth birthday last month and she had already enrolled in Kindergarten for her second year of pre-school education. If we will follow the six-year old requirement for Grade One students, she will have to undergo another year of pre-school study which will make her finish three (3) years of preparatory schooling instead of just one (1) year as required under the K+12 Basic Education Program.

What I would like to point out on this blog post is the necessity of pre-school education before entering the Elementary Level. Will one year of Kindergarten be enough for a child to be fully prepared to enter Elementary education? If so, why do children of “can afford” families go through 3-year pre-school (Nursery, Kinder and Prep) education?

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