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DepEd clarifies policies on kindergarten classes

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The Department of Education (DepEd) recently clarified some issues and concerns regarding the implementation of the "Universal Kindergarten Education" which started this school year 2011-2012.

The clarifications were indicated in DepEd Order No. 51, s. 2011 issued on July 5 by Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro to all education top executives including regional directors, schools superintendents and heads of public elementary schools.

Luistro explained that five-year-old children who were not able to enroll in the Kindergarten Regular Program (KRP) last June 2011 can avail of the Summer Kindergarten Program to be offered in April 2012.

He added that six year old children who failed to attend the Summer Kindergarten Program and who are not ready for formal schooling in Grade I will undergo the eight-week curriculum on readiness and foundation skills.

Volunteer kindergarten teachers were also allowed by Luistro to handle two classes with six hours teaching and be paid a monthly honorarium of P3,000 per class or a total of P6,000 a month for the two classes.

Each class shall comprise a minimum of II pupils and a maximum of 30 pupils with three hours teaching time for each class, Luistro said.

The DepEd chief enjoined all schools superintendents and school heads to address immediately the challenges which go with the enforcement of the Kindergarten Education Programs.

For instance, if an elementary school lacks volunteer kindergarten mentors, teachers from community-based centers such as the Sibol foundation, and parents with pre-school education background may be hired as volunteer kindergarten mentor, Luistro said.

He further stressed that if there is lack of classrooms, all available areas in the school - such as libraries, home economics rooms, covered courts and stages - may be utilized for kindergarten classes even as the assistance of the local government units or civil society can be sought to provide additional spaces for kindergarten classes.

To avoid overcrowded classes, Luistro said, only two sessions with a total of six hours per day shall be organized to avoid holding of classes very early in the morning or late in the afternoon, even as a class can meet three times a week that is, every Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday or Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

Luistro also advised schools superintendents to coordinate with their respective Regional Offices so that the designated Regional Kindergarten Trainers (RKTs) and Division Kindergarten Trainers (DKTs) can schedule the needed training with the distribution of teaching guides whose

utilization shall be monitored by the superintendents to ensure proper use of these instructional materials by the kindergarten teachers.

By YVONNE C. AYA-AY
Teacher I
Divisoria Elementary School




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