Govt urged to standardize operations of day care centers proliferating nationwide

Manipulative devices in Match; Source: weareteachers.com;

March 2, 2021

The government should standardize the curriculum and operation of day care centers, ensure training of teachers of  Madrasah (religious school for Islam), and promote technology use if it has to further make a success of K-12 early education.

   Top education research center Philippine Normal University (PNU) asserts that  standardization of operations of day care centers should be legislated has to be even as day care centers have proliferated  in the country. 

   Day care centers have sprung up, and these do not have to keep up with any government quality standards.

   The emergence of many day care centers indicate positive attitudes of parents and the society  toward their young children’s education. 

   Still, children should be assured of learning outcomes in day care centers.

   “The Department of Education (DepEd) should mandate how the operations of these day care centers should be, what learning services they should offer, and how these can be carried out,” according to the PNU research compiled by Dr. Edna Luz Raymundo-Abulon in “Policy Implications for Basic Education”  

   Facilities in day care centers should be adequately provided.  Moreover, teachers’ training in instructing very young children is a unique competence that must be honed and developed

   “More formal training needs to be given to teachers who work in day care centers.  While early childhood education courses may prepare teachers to handle preschool children, the children in day care centers are much younger and are in a different developmental stage,” said Abulon.

   PNU”s report is a compilation of researches from 2010 to 2020. It covers a total of 89 published researches in recognized refereed scientific journals  and 38 research reported to the Educational Policy Research and Development Center (EPRDC).      

   The report supports PNU’s mandate under Republic Act 9647 which designated PNU as the country’s  National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE).  It made PNU a center  on innovations and alternative systems and their utilization and application to teacher training and development.

    The report indicated an important need for more trained teachers in Madrasah. 

   The study of Madrasah among Muslim Filipinos has been integrated into the K-12 basic education curriculum.    

   However, teachers of Madrasah have been found to have limited training on pedagogic skills (teaching methods and styles).

   Furthermore, as the pandemic Covid 19 has prompted an abrupt change in the school paradigm, the PNU study also revealed technology has been found to be very useful in 21st century teaching. The crisis made even basic education institutions resort to online learning even among young children and young adults.

   The PNU research compilation also noted that institutional or administrative problems continue to hound the basic education sector.  These are among the problems:

  • There is inadequacy or absence of qualified teachers in private madaris (teachers who provide lessons from the Qur’an and Arabic Language) for the Muslim K-12 program.
  • Integration of environmental education in elementary and secondary schools (Trinidad & Garancho, 2017) should be carried out more intensively. 

   For instance, while a study (Camacho, 2012) found out that student-respondents were knowledgeable on the general water code provisions of the Philippines,  implementation of policies needs to be reviewed (such as on disposal of dirty water or of waste to rivers).

Day care center; Source: iStock
  •    Delay in the release of allowance of salary of teachers continues.
  • There was an observed lack of clear guidelines in hiring and retention of teachers in basic education.
  • There is mismatch between training and educational attainment of teachers.

   Despite some problems in early learning and basic education, PNU acknowledged important programs that may be replicated to improve early learning or K-12 basic education in the country.

  1. PNU teachers have developed manipulative devices for teaching Math and Science, micro lab kits for Chemistry  and Physics, and content area reading materials for K-12.

   “Teachers in basic education should be encouraged to develop creative and innovative instructional materials that would capture their students’ interests. Trainings/workshops that would provide teachers with skills and opportunities on doing innovative instructional materials are also suggested,” said Abulon.

Science graphics for K-12; Source: wileyonlinelibrary

2. The Headstart Program in Isabela for gifted and talented pre-schoolers is an excellent program to hone children’s intelligence at an early age. Administrators, teachers, and parents expressed their positive views about the program (Leaño & Malano, 2019).

“Children’s gifts and talents must be honed and supported early, and programs such as Headstart (Leaño & Malano, 2019) can be an exemplar in realizing this goal. Policies must be enacted to support the development and implementation of such programs,” noted Abulon.

3. A science teaching strategy called “Predict-Observe-Explain” or POE has been excellent in showing how immediate observations are good techniques in teaching the physical and material world (Physics).  

   “POE can be used for finding out students’ initial ideas; providing teachers with information about students’ thinking; generating discussion; motivating students to want to explore the concept; and generating investigations,” according to Assessment Resource Banks.

The PNU research concluded that the “predict-observe-explain approach intended to promote positive attitude and achievement among students (Garnale, 2015).A culturally-sensitive curriculum improves early learning among cultural minorities. Using the native language of indigenous people (IP)  as learning tool makes learning easier and homey for IPs. This prevents dropout among early IP learners..

4. An analytic scoring framework– rubric, transmutation table– was developed by PNU teachers as tool for scoring pupils’ school performance.  Such rubrics enable a standard for rating students’ performance.  Its use in early education should be promoted.

    “The development and application of methods that could facilitate proper assessment of students’ performance (e.g., Nivera, 2012) should be encouraged.”

5. Early learner teachers should have more training on teaching by observing pupils’ behaviors.  Behaviors of young pupils may determine whether they are having difficulty in learning.  For example, reading difficulty of Grade 1 learners have been noticed through their irregular behavior such as “hand, armhand,  shoulder-waist, and waistfoot; approximate behaviors”  

          Detecting pupils’ difficulty in learning through their behaviour and then helping out these pupils make very young children cope with the stresses of learning. Melody Mendoza Aguiba

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