I have written an article about the attributes of a DECS-registered pre-school in 2001. The purpose is to guide parents whose child is about to enter pre-school for the first time in choosing the ‘right’ school for their kid. It was the same year I enrolled my eldest, who was then 4-years old, in a nearby pre-school in our area.
I thought of updating the figures (exact number of pre-schools in NCR) but have no way of contacting Mr. Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Association of Private School Administrators in the NCR, whose the source of this information.
Anyway, here are the attributes of a DECS-registered pre-school
1. Must have the feature of a regular classroom (definitely not just a garage or a rented-room-turned classroom)
2. Must have complete visual kits, poster of Panatang Makabayan, crucifix and picture of the present President of the Republic
3. Must have a library of books written by Filipino authors
4. DECS also requires a school to have an ample ground or field where pupils can play and hold Physical Education Classes and other related activities. The lot size must not be smaller than 350 square meters.
5. Permits (either marked with stamped pad or a dry seal) issued by the DECS should be displayed on areas where it can easily be seen by parents and visitors.
6. The permit must have the corresponding government receipt that indicates the number and location of the school.
7. Children-per-classroom ratio should be one child for every 1.2 square meters. The UNESCO figure is 35 children per classroom.
8. Based on Republic Act 7636 or the Professionalization of Teachers, a qualified pre-school teacher must have passed the board examination for teachers.
Questions parents hesitate to ask
1. Parents should be able to know where the tuition paid every month or every school year would go. The same thing applies for tuition increases.
— The school administrator must be able to consult the matter first with parents before any ruling on tuition hike is implemented.
2. Refer to attributes. These are the basic things/observation some parents ask from school administrator.
Rationale for proliferation of illegal pre-schools
Failure of parents to ask or voice out their concern about the school their children are enrolling in is just like tolerating the illegal activities of the school.
Where to report bogus pre-schools
DECS has the sole jurisdiction on the monitoring of basic education institutions, including pre-schools.
If parents doubted the school’s legality, they may call DECS Division Office in their locality and look for DECS coordinator for private schools.
It’s always a big picnic everyday at school. But after children have graduated from pre-school, they must be able to read and write their names, distinguish colors, tell time and count from 1 to 100.
Towards the right direction (for pre-school administrators)
“It feels good to be always on the right direction. We can hardly do this if we are on the wrong path. How can we take up values if we are illegal,” Kasilag said of unregistered pre-schools.
The full story on this is found on the June 14, 2001 issue of People’s Tonight.