Press Release
May 9, 2011


As the Senate resumes session today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated his call for institutionalizing early childhood education in the country, which he says is the key to making our children "school ready".

"It is a known fact that the early years of brain development are vital to future learning. Yet, these decisive years are not sufficiently addressed in our educational system," he said.

According to the records kept by the Department of Education or DepEd, 1.7 million 5-year-olds will be starting formal school this year, taking advantage of the free kindergarten level being offered nationwide.

However, these numbers also reveal that a whopping 2.5 million school-age children will not be able to attend school for a variety of factors including financial and health problems, as well as inability to keep up academically. Millions more will drop out during the course of the school year for the same set of reasons.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and Arts, said that these statistics explain why such a large percentage of our children do not become school-ready in time.

"These dismal figures suggest that the most fundamental reason why our children are not school-ready is because we glaringly neglect the most critical years of their development which occurs before they reach the age of five," he explained.

In his sponsorship speech of the Early Years Act, Angara emphasized the need to establish learning centers to take advantage of these key developmental years.

"We must always remember that learning begins at birth, therefore we must prioritize the establishment of ECCD or Early Childhood Care and Development Councils to take charge of this learning program," he said.

Senate Bill 2567 or the Early Years Act under Committee Report 31 is currently awaiting the Second Reading, following a series of joint committee hearings and technical working group meetings.

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