Press Release
May 16, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture and author of Senate Bill No. 3176 or the Early Years Act (EYA), stressed that early childhood education is seen to significantly reduce repetition and dropout rates in the country.

Angara said quality early childhood education has been shown to improve the scholastic abilities and school readiness of young children, thereby preventing school dropouts.

"The highest dropout rates in our basic education system is due to the lack of support from 0 to 6 years old--the most critical years of learning. Experts suggest that 50 percent of a person's ability to learn is developed at age 4," said Angara.

"And yet, during this stage, our Filipino children are not reared and made ready to enter Grade 1. Instead, 1.2 million are in play centers not fit to prepare them for school while 2.5 million children of school age are not enrolled," he continued.

Citing a study by the World Bank, Angara claims that children who participate in early development programs tend to be more successful in later school, are more competent socially and emotionally, and show better verbal, intellectual and physical development during early childhood than children who are not enrolled in high quality programs.

In India's Dalmau program, the later school attendance was 16 percent higher for children ages six to eight. In Colombia's Promesa project, third-grade enrollment rates rose by 100 percent, reflecting lower dropout and repetition rates. Moreover, 60 percent of program children reached the fourth grade, compared with only 30 percent of children in the comparison group.

The Early Years Act seeks to equalize opportunities available to Filipino children by refocusing the 49,712 daycare centers in the 47,000 baranggays all over the country into full-fledged learning centers. In short, it will rationalize and restructure daycare centers into early childhood education centers.

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