Kindergarten is the first stage of the basic education system in the Philippines intended for Five (5) years of age. It is a requirement for entrance to Grade 1 under the new K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum.
In consonance with the Millennium Development Goals on achieving Education for All (EFA) Project by the government, it is hereby declared under Republic Act (RA) 10157, otherwise known as “The Kindergarten Education Act,” as per the policy of the State to provide equal opportunities for all children to avail of accessible mandatory and compulsory kindergarten education that effectively promotes physical, social, intellectual, emotional and skills stimulation and values formation to sufficiently prepare them for formal elementary schooling. This Act shall apply to the elementary school system is the first stage of compulsory and mandatory formal education. Thus, kindergarten will now be an integral part of the basic education system of the country.
Kindergarten education is vital to the academic and technical development of the Filipino child for it is the period when the young mind’s absorptive capacity for learning is at its sharpest. It is also the policy of the State to make education learner-oriented and responsive to the needs, cognitive and cultural capacity, circumstances, and diversity of learners, schools, and communities through the appropriate languages of teaching and learning.
Kindergarten Curriculum Under K to 12 Implementation
Since there are no formal or specific subjects in Kindergarten, it is considered as a transition stage between information literacy and formal literacy (Grades 1-12). This is the period of greatest growth and development, when the brain develops most rapidly, almost at its fullest. It is a period when walking, talking, self-esteem, a vision of the world, and moral foundations are established. Children at this stage should be immersed with activities, games, and plays to naturally acquire the skills/competencies appropriate for their holistic development as emergent literates and be ready for formal school.
Thus beginning at an early age the child must be cared for and given all the opportunities to address current developmental needs and prepare him/her for lifelong learning. Hence, the Kindergarten Curriculum shall focus on the following domains:
• Values and Character Formation and Development
This includes experiences that help children develop a love for God, self, others, and community. This also helps the children develop an awareness of their feelings and sense of right and wrong.
• Physical and the Motor Development;
This includes gross and fine motor coordination through play and manipulative activities like games, simple work, and those that develop physical fitness.
• Socio-emotional Development
This involves skills and behaviors pertaining to independence and social behavior. It includes the development of healthy habits and independence in dressing, eating, sleeping, and toileting, relating with teachers, peers, and other people, through group play and/or interaction. It also deals with the development of the ability to follow rules and routines. Learning about the family and other people like the community helpers is part of the concerns in the area.
• Cognitive or the Intellectual Development
This includes development in the areas of communication skills and sensory-perceptual and numeracy concepts and skills. Communication skills refer to competencies in expressing ideas and feelings in both English and Filipino. It includes the facility for oral expression and basic readiness skills of listening, pre-reading, and writing. Sensory-perceptual and numeracy skills include the development of concepts through the ability to observe, discriminate, and see details, similarities, and differences, and to understand, count, read, and write numbers. The development of numeracy involves the development of skills in describing, pairing, comparing, classifying, and ordering (sequencing). Money value and telling time may be introduced.
• Language and Communication Development
This refers to a child’s ability to understand and use language to communicate ideas, learn to acquire language skills in preparation for reading, writing, and counting.
• Creative and Aesthetic Development
Development in this area includes exploration of sounds, music, and rhythms such as listening to music creating songs, singing, and creative movements, art activities like exploring the use of art media such as crayons and paints and drawing fall under this area. Communication skills activities such as the creation of poems, stories, and dramatization are also included here.