Press Release
February 25, 2011


Tackling the early childhood education and the K-12 proposals, the Senate Committe on Education, Arts & Culture, led by Senator Edgardo J. Angara, emphasized the need to design a scheme to lessen the financial strain of added years in school.

Angara said further study must be made on the immediate and long-term effects of the added years in basic education -- both in terms of academic performance, and education financing.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and Arts, explained the rationale behind institutionalizing kindergarten as part of the extended K-12 curriculum, which is set to begin in 2013.

"I believe we are all in agreement that we should insert the additional years as early as possible into the basic education system, to catch as many students as we can before they succumb to the high dropout rates in higher years. Statistics backed by multiple studies have also confirmed that lessons learned earlier in life have a greater chance of retention as we grow older," said Angara.

While the positive pedagogical impact of early education seems to be accepted as fact, questions about the added financial strain both on the government and the families were raised during the hearing.

"The overall cost to the government for the K-12 program has been drawn up, but it is difficult to estimate the effect of each additional year on an individual family's budget. Almost 85% of education costs in the Philippines is shouldered by the parents--an almost exact opposite of the situation in our Asian neighbors. For example, in Japan and Korea, families cover less than 20% of children's education. These numbers must be taken into account," said Angara.

Angara explained that the Education Committee was still waiting for additional data from the different agencies before finalizing the K-12 proposal.

"Perhaps we should take what we learned from the very insightful dialogue during the Senate hearing and use it to fine-tune our plans for this big change in our educational system," he said.

"When we have enough information, then it will be time to submit it to Congress for the funding allocations, so that we can come up with a better financing system that will be less of a burden to the families," explained Angara.

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