Institutionalizing Kindergarten Using MTBMLE

Following is Senate Bill #2700 entitled “AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING THE KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION INTO THE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM, PRESCRIBING A MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR” introduced in the Senate by Senator Ralph G. Recto. The Manila Daily Bulletin in its April 20, 2011 issue filed the following report: Senate OKs mandatory, free pre-school education, indicating 17 senators supported the bill. The House version, H.B. 3826, does not specify L1 as the medium of instruction for kindergarten.

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE )
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES )
First Regular Session )

SENATE

S. B. No. 2700

Introduced by Senator Ralph G. Recto

EXPLANATORY NOTE

Education has been recognized as a critical factor in the development of the country. Filipinos consider education as the embodiment of their hopes and aspirations for a better life. In fact, access to quality education is a state policy that is enshrined in the constitution.

It has been established that a strong foundation in education starts at the early age of a child. It is during the early stage of development that a child can better learn and assimilate ideas because of the rapid growth of the physical and mental faculties. Pre-school education seeks to develop a framework for the intellectual development and value formation of a child.

This bill seeks to provide mandatory and compulsory pre-school or kindergarten education which shall be free in public schools. Likewise, it prescribes the use of mother tongue-based multi-lingual framework as a medium of instruction in the kindergarten level.

Scientific studies and global trends point to multi-lingual based education using the mother tongue as becoming the standard teaching method for basic literacy all over the world. In the Philippines, a local study reveals that the average Filipino is multi-lingual and can understand several local dialects aside from English.

Cognizant of the priority given to kindergarten education, the measure earmarks proceeds from the Value-Added Tax collections amounting to twenty billion annually for the next three years after the approval of the bill. Thereafter, the budgetary requirements of the Kindergarten education shall be charged to the general fund and included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

The passage of this measure will not only give full meaning to the Philippine commitment to the Education for All (EFA) global movement and its expanded vision of education but it will also fulfill the vision offunctionally literate Filipinos.

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE )
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES )
First Regular Session )

SENATE

S. B. No. 2700

Introduced by Senator Ralph G. Recto

AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING THE KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION INTO THE BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM, PRESCRIBING A MOTHER TONGUE-BASED MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Kindergarten Education Act”.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – In consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA), it is hereby declared the policy of the State 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 elementary schooling. This Act shall apply to elementary school system being the first stage of compulsory formal education.

Kindergarten education is vital to the academic and technical development of the Filipino child for it is the period when the young mind’s absorptive capacity for learning is at its sharpest.

It is also the policy of the State to make education learner-oriented and responsive to the needs, cognitive and cultural capacity, the circumstances and diversity of learners, schools and communities through the appropriate languages of teaching and learning.

SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – The terms used in this Act are defined as follows:

(a) BEE shall refer to the Bureau of Elementary Education;

(b) DepEd shall refer to the Department of Education; and

(c) Kindergarten Education shall be understood in this Act to mean one (1) year of preschool education for children five (5) years old and above as a prerequisite for Grade I.

(d) Mother tongue also known as the first language (Ll), home language, native language or vernacular refers to the language first learned by a child, which he or she is identified with or is identified as a native speaker.

SEC. 4. Institutionalization of Kindergarten Education. – Kindergarten education is hereby institutionalized as part of basic education and shall be made mandatory and compulsory starting School Year 2011-2012, and shall serve as a requirement for entrants to Grade I. The public kindergarten education program shall be free from tuition and other school fees. Henceforth, all referrals to preschool education shall now mean kindergarten education.

SEC 5. Medium of Instruction. – The mother tongue of the learner shall be the primary medium of instruction for teaching and learning in the kindergarten level. The Department of Education in coordination with the Commission on Filipino Language and in close collaboration with academic and research institutions concerned with education shall formulate a mother tongue- based multilingual framework for teaching and learning pre-school education.

SEC. 6. Implementing Agency. – The authority to regulate the organization, operation and/or implementation of the kindergarten education program of both public and private schools shall be vested upon the DepEd, through the BEE.

SEC. 7. Duties, Powers and Functions. – The DepEd, through the BEE, shall exercise the following powers and functions:

(a) Oversee and supervise the organization, operation and implementation of the kindergarten education program;

(b) Develop the curriculum for kindergarten education consistent with the universally accepted norms and standards, including values formation and use of mother tongue as a medium of instructions, and to periodically review such for purposes of upgrading;

(c) Conceive, develop and extend a regular training program to kindergarten education teachers to ensure constant updating oftheir knowledge in modem trends, methodologies and concepts on early childhood education;

(d) Prescribe the necessary qualifications for the hiring and accreditation of teachers who will handle the kindergarten education program; and

(e) Exercise authority over the operation of private kindergarten institutions.

SEC. 8. Appropriations. – The Department of Education shall immediately include in the program of the Department the operationalization of the free, mandatory and compulsory public kindergarten education, the initial funding of which shall be charged against the current appropriations for kindergarten education of the DepEd and proceeds from the ValueAdded Tax collections amounting to twenty billion pesos earmarked every year for the next three years for the annual budgetary requirements of the kindergarten education. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the continued implementation of the free public kindergarten education program shall be charged to the general fund and included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

SEC. 9. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – Within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Budget and Management, shall promulgate the rules and regulations needed for the implementation of this Act.

SEC. 10. Separability Clause. – If any provlSlon of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions hereof.

SEC. 11. Repealing Clause. – Pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 8980 and all other laws, decrees, executive orders and rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SEC. 12. EffectiVity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,

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