Jennica Garcia ‘saddened’ by DepEd policy lowering age requirement for Grade 1, kindergarten pupils
After the Department of Education (DepEd) issued a new order reducing the age requirement for children entering Grade 1 and kindergarten, one mother was very vocal about her disapproval—Jennica Garcia.
The actress and natural-parenting advocate lamented DepEd’s decision on the change as she posted several photos of the new policy, as well as a photo of her daughter Mori, on Instagram on Wednesday.
Under DepEd’s new policy, the eligibility for children to enter the first grade must be 6 years old when academic year 2018-2019 commences. Those who will enter kindergarten must be 5 years of age by June 1, but schools may extend their cut-off on the condition that the Philippine Early Childhood Development checklist must be administered to the learner.
Finding the order “disheartening,” she reasoned it is at that tender age that they play and learn the abilities of their young bodies and how to interact with people. She added that they would be forced to wake up early and sit to hold a pencil, paper and book.
“Sa kanilang pag uwi, kinakailangan maupo muli upang tutukan naman ng mga magulang at tulungan sa kanilang homeworks at masigurong hindi babagsak ang kanilang anak sa mga test,” she narrated the possible outcome.
(When they get home, they need to sit again to be assisted by their parents and be helped with their homeworks and make sure their children will not fail their tests.)
“Kapag hindi nakinig at malikot sa paaralan, ADHD agad. Kailangan ng ‘assessment’ o kaya naman proper discipline dahil ang behavior ay hindi normal.”
(If they won’t listen and are rowdy, they would be labeled as having ADHD. They need “assessment” or proper discipline because their behavior is considered abnormal.)
Upon saying this, she then asked: “Ang mga batang ito ba talaga ang hindi normal? O ang hindi normal ay ang expectations ng mga nakatatanda at ng mga propesyonal na nakapalibot sa bata?”
(Is it these children who are not normal? Or is it the expectations of the elderly and the professionals surrounding the children?)
“Opo nandun na po ako, marami ang walang problema kung matuto ng maaga academically ang kanilang anak pero paano naman po sa mga kagaya ko na naniniwalang hindi dapat minamadali ang mga ganitong bagay-bagay?” she further lamented.
(Yes I admit, some have no problem with their children learning academically at an earlier age. But how about those like me who believe we shouldn’t rush into these things?)
Several fellow moms agreed with Garcia’s sentiments, saying that children at a tender age should be engaged in play activities.
Garcia is currently expecting her second child with actor Alwyn Uytingco. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Mori. /ra
Jennica Garcia, Alwyn Uytingco expecting second baby
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