Kindergarten Education Act
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A lot of people ask me why we are still keeping Skye at home and not sending her to school. “She’s already 4 years old and must be dealing with other children her age”, they say. I am always tempted to tell them that we have no plans yet to send her to school because we plan to homeschool her. But I do not want to go onto the lengthy explanation as to Why We Prefer to Homeschool Skye so, most of the time, I just smile in reply.

Actually, parents, if you really are paying attention to DepEd and school regulations, you will know that it is NOT a requirement to send your young ones, 5 years old and below, to school. Whatever program you put your child in before Kindergarten is NOT counted under DepEd files. The Republic Act No. 10157 says only those who finished Kindergarten could be admitted to Grade 1, AND ONLY 5 YEARS OLD (and above) CAN BE ADMITTED TO KINDERGARTEN.

What does that mean?

It means junior casa, senior casa, nursery, pre-kindergarten, or whatever you call those programs/stages you pay to add to your child’s education are nothing more than additional expenses (or maybe not, depending on how you see them or whatever advantages you get from them).

To further understand The Republic Act No. 10157, we compiled the frequently asked questions from parents below:

1.) What is The Republic Act No. 10157?

The Republic Act No. 10157, also known as the Kindergarten Education Act, makes kindergarten “the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education.” DepEd views the institutionalization of kindergarten as a key move in implementing the administration’s flagship K-12 (Kindergarten to 12) program, which extends the basic education cycle from 10 years to 12. 

2.) But my child already knows how to read, write, add, subtract, and do calculus. His/her skills and knowledge can match that of high school students but s/he’s only 4. Can we skip Kindergarten and enroll him/her in Grade 1 already?

NO. Even if your child is that of Einstein’s level, s/he still needs to go through Kindergarten before s/he can be admitted to Grade 1.

3.) My child will be 5 years old by August, enrollment is on June (date), can s/he be admitted to Kindergarten or should we wait until next year?

They must be 5 years old by June, with an extension period until September 30 (if their school year opens in June). If their school year opens in August, they must be 5 years old by August 1, with an extension until October 31.

4.) My child has been studying since s/he’s 2 years old. S/he already finished the nursery and junior casa. S/he’s 4 years old now, can s/he be admitted to Kindergarten?

NO. 5 years old, remember? That is the ONLY age they accept children to be enrolled in a Kindergarten in preparation for entry to Grade 1. It doesn’t matter if your child has undergone junior casa, senior casa, pre-kindergarten, nursery, etc. s/he’s only eligible to take the Kindergarten course when she’s 5 years old. When s/he passes Kindergarten then she’s eligible to step up to Grade 1.

 5.) If 5 years old is the age requirement for Kindergarten, then 6 years old should be Grade 1, right?

You got it!

6.) Does that mean, I can enroll my 6 years old right away to Grade 1 even if he/she hasn’t taken Kindergarten?

No. KINDERGARTEN IS REQUIRED. In the basic education policy, DepEd cited that for Grade 1, only “children who have completed Kindergarten programs in DepEd accredited schools and centers” and those who are “six years old and above by August 21 of the school year they will enroll in” are eligible.

7.) What are the things they teach in Kindergarten?

The basic – colors, letters, numbers, values education, and socialization. Also, it requires the use of the student’s mother tongue or first language (depending on location) as the official medium of instruction.  For instance, kindergarten classes in Cebu will be taught in Cebuano while those in Bicol will be taught in Bicolano.

8.) Do this apply to homeschoolers?

Yes. This mandate applies to public and private schools, as well as homeschoolers. Independent homeschoolers (no provider) who’ll be enrolled to Grade 1 must pass the Kindergarten PEPT (Philippine Educational Placement Test) by the Department of Education (DepEd) before they will be allowed to level up. Schools/providers that do not follow this rule will face the risk of having their license revoked.

9.) Where should I enroll my child and how can I make sure there will be no problem with his/her school records?

To whatever DepEd ACCREDITED school. Only accredited schools can provide the LRN (Learning Reference Number) of the student which will carry all their school records until college. Also, LRN is only provided to students who satisfy all the requirements for Kindergarten – age and curriculum. So before you enroll your child in a particular school, ask if they will/can provide LRN.

10.) This is so dumb. Can there be exemptions in this rule?

So far, none. DepEd is firm on “setting its foot down” when it comes to age cut-off and eligibility of incoming learners.


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