Toys to be used to lure 5-year-olds to kindergarten

Published by rudy Date posted on May 10, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – What would be the best motivation for five-year olds to go to school but toys?

The ABS-CBN Foundation, in a bid to convince five-year olds all over the country to go to mandatory kindergarten school at the opening of classes in June, has pledged to gather 1.9 million toys to be donated to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Fr. Tito Caluag, ABS-CBN Integrated Public Service head said the massive toy drive would be their contribution to DepEd’s effort to implement universal kindergarten under their ambitious K (Kindergarten) +12 Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) plan.

“Our contribution is to raise awareness for that. And to raise 1.9 million toys all over the country and even in some of our TFC (The Filipino Channel) stations which we plan to donate to DepEd this coming school year,” Caluag said in a press briefing yesterday after the signing of a memorandum of agreement with Education Secretary Armin Luistro to formalize the partnership.

DepEd is making kindergarten a requirement before entering Grade 1 as it starts the first phase of its ambitious K+12 BEC plan starting school year 2011-2012.

The program adds two years to the current 10-year basic education curriculum that involves six years of elementary and four years of high school, to 12 years with six years of elementary level, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school excluding the mandatory kindergarten level.

Luistro welcomed the toy drive saying DepEd needs all the help it can get from the private sector in making their universal kindergarten program a success this year.

“We are very, very happy with this contribution of the toys which will definitely be a big help as we implement universal kindergarten this June,” Luistro said.

A total of 1.9 million kindergarten students are expected to enroll in the 38,000 schools and day care centers nationwide.

P7 billion budget for construction, repair of classrooms

In a related development, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has approved the release of a P7-billion fund for the construction and repair of some 8,997 classrooms all over the country to accommodate a total of 404,865 students.

“Education is the central strategy of the Aquino administration for investing in the people and enhancing the youth’s opportunity to gain meaningful employment,” the DBM said in a statement.

Abad assured Filipinos that the Aquino administration is “committed to ensure the funding needed to address critical gaps in basic education.”

He said the P7-billion increase is “charged against” the P11.29-billion lump sum for the requirements of basic educational facilities.

Of the P7 billion, P1 billion is allocated for the repair of classrooms in the National Capital Region, P841 million for Region 4-A, P660.3 million for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and P562 million for Region 7.

Abad said the lump-sum fund of basic educational facilities “can be used not only for the construction and repair of elementary and secondary school buildings, but also for the acquisition of school furniture and fixtures.”

As per DepEd’s Physical Facilities and School’s Engineering Division, there should be at least 23 tables and 46 chairs for every classroom in elementary schools; and a minimum of 45 armchairs for secondary schools. —-Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) with Delon Porcalla

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