New pre-school curriculum bared
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (26 February) -- A "forward-looking national education program" has been put in place to improve the different stages of the main education highway from pre-school to post-graduate.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bared the program in her visit yesterday at her mother's hometown of Binalonan where she rallied concerned agencies in the education sector to make consolidated efforts in increasing the social impact of education on the Filipino youth.
In her speech after inaugurating the two-storey-four-classroom building at the Binalonan South Central School, the Chief Executive said that the government started this year the clustering of programs of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA) "to create a forward-looking national education program."
The program, as recommended by the Presidential Task Force on Education, sets the guidelines in improving the education highway - pre-school, elementary, high school, technical or vocational school, college, master's and doctorate. A key feature is the inclusion of five-year-old children in government-run day care centers in order to strengthen and expand the DepEd's pre-school program.
Under Executive Order No. 865 she issued last year, the education department was directed to strengthen its pre-school program to entice children to stay in school and thereby minimize dropouts in elementary school. She said the government was determined to bring down school dropout rate to five percent by 2010.
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus presented to the President the main features of the new pre-school curriculum after the unveiling the marker of the new school building and before she delivered her speech before a big crowd of teachers, school officials and mediamen at the school gym. She also met with the members of the municipality's school board.
The curriculum defines what a five-year-old should know and able to do on such areas as values development, physical health and motor development, social and emotional development, cognitive development, creative arts, reading and writing readiness, and language, literacy and communication.
In her speech, she cited the important role of local school boards in determining the projects for school improvement and development. The school board fund is the one percent share in the real property tax revenues.
She said she will give the equivalent amount of what Binalonan will allocate to the school board for the implementation of the pre-school curriculum.
The President, after her speech, observed a demonstration on the lesson for the first day of school in a pre-school class. She later observed the pre-schoolers wash their hands and brush their teeth. A deworming activity was also conducted.
Dressed smartly in fuchsia pantsuit, the President happily greeted her townmates in their celebration of the town fiesta. She said she only missed one fiesta from the time she became a senator. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]