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Public, private schools to apply cut-off age policy for Kindergarten

PASIG CITY, April 21, 2018 – Children who are five years old by June 1 of every calendar year shall be accepted in Kindergarten by both public and private schools following the Department of Education’s (DepEd) issuance of the “Amendment to DepEd Order No. 47, S. 2016, Otherwise Known as the ‘Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education,’ Clarifying that the Cut-Off Age Policy is Applicable to Both Public and Private School and Providing for Transitory Provisions to Accommodate Kindergarten and Grade One Enrollees for SY 2018-2019 and SY 2019-2020 Who may be Affected by This Policy, and for Other Purposes.”

The Department issued the amendment, also known as DepEd Order No. 20, series 2018 (DO 20), to emphasize that the application of the cut-off age applies to both public and private schools, and in exercise of its authority vested by Republic Act 10157 (An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor) to regulate the organization, operation and/or implementation of the Kindergarten program for both public and private schools.

“We are issuing this amended enrollment procedure to address the concern of parents while ensuring that our Kindergarten learners are holistically prepared to face the expectations of the grade level,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones pointed out.

The Kindergarten curriculum is designed to respond to the holistic developmental needs of five-year-old learners, along with socio-emotional, values, physical health, creative, mathematics, understanding of the physical and natural environment, language, literacy, and communication development. Moreover, the first quarter of the curriculum is structured to strengthen the learners’ preparation to meet the Kindergarten learning standards.

Nonetheless, learners entering Kindergarten who will turn five years old by the end of August may be considered by schools provided that they are administered with the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) checklist before the school year opens.

Cut-off period adjustment

Recognizing the difference in school year opening among schools, DO 20 provided for adjustments in the age cut-off period. Thereby, Kindergarten learners should be five years old by July 1, with an extension period until September 30, if their schools open the school year in July; and by August 1, with an extension period until October 31, if their schools open the school year in August.

Private schools are still allowed under DO 20 to add requirements for admission to Kindergarten that are consistent with existing laws and rules.

Transition period

The following transitory provisions of DO 20 shall apply to all Kindergarten and Grade 1 enrollees, in both public and private schools, who may be affected by the policy.

For the upcoming SY 2018-2019, learners who completed Kindergarten in SY 2017-2018 shall be allowed to enroll in Grade 1, given that they turned five years old within SY 2017-2018. Meanwhile, learners who will turn five years old within SY 2018-2019 shall be accepted in Kindergarten granted that they pass the Philippine ECD checklist.

Learners who completed Kindergarten in SY 2018-2019 are allowed to enroll in Grade 1 for SY 2019-2020 as long as they turned five years old within SY 2018-2019, while incoming Kindergarten for SY 2019-2020 must strictly comply with the cut-off age policy of DepEd Order 47, s. 2016, as amended.

By SY 2020-2021, strict compliance to DO 20’s amended enrollment procedure shall be imposed on all incoming Kindergarten and Grade 1 learners.

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, hailing from the Philippines, has made a profound impact on the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access crucial information and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas. His contributions have significantly enhanced their instructional and supervisory capabilities, elevating the quality of education in the Philippines. Beyond his domestic influence, Mark's insightful articles on teaching have garnered international recognition, being featured on highly respected educational websites in the United States. As an agent of change, he continues to empower teachers, both locally and internationally, to excel in their roles and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of knowledge-sharing and collaboration within the teaching community.

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