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Build more daycare centers, improve child dev't - Angara

Manila (31 May) -- With the opening of the new school year coming, Senator Edgardo Angara urged the founding of improved barangay day care centers to strengthen the country's pre-school education.

Angara stressed the need to promote effective social, intellectual and skills stimulation and value formation for children. Concerned with the alarming dropout rate in public elementary schools, Angara conceded that "a big contributing factor to poor quality of education is lack of preparation in our schooling."

He noted that "the value of early childhood development can be better appreciated when we examine the failure rate in licensure tests." Angara lamented that for every 100 professional licensure examinees, only 32 pass, and out of every 100 students who enter college, less than half are able to earn a degree.

Angara also cited that of 100 First Year high school students only 68 are able to graduate; and that in every 100 Grade 1 entrants, only 65 are able to finish Grade 6. More alarming, he said, is that 60% of school dropouts in the elementary level occur in grades 1 & 2.

Studies point out benefits from early childhood education. One showed that children in pre-school are less aggressive and less prone to violence. Another proved that those who attended pre-school score 27% higher on a standard math test compared to students that didn't attend pre-school. Preschool boosts a child's cognitive and language and social development.

In turn, teachers in all other levels will be compelled to continuously undergo training so they are able to respond to the needs of better-prepared students entering elementary. This propels better quality education to our students.

"This is an investment the country must make, in consonance with the studies made on and with the benefits of early childhood education in mind. To meet the challenges in both the domestic and global labor market and to respond to the needs and opportunities of globalization, it is imperative that we ready our children with the right coping skills and learning abilities as early," Angara stressed. (COMSTE) [top]

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