Following the release of the Second Congressional Commission on Education’s (EDCOM II) report on the state of education in the country, Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for the passage of his proposed measure to improve the quality and delivery of early childhood care and development (ECCD) programs.
“Ang ECCD ang pundasyon sa edukasyon ng mga Kabataan. Gayunpaman, hindi natin naaabot ang marami sa mga kabataan at kulang na kulang tayo sa mga guro at pasilidad. Sa pagsugpo natin sa krisis ng edukasyon, mahalagang tiyakin nating mapapatatag din natin ang mga programa para sa ECCD,” said Gatchalian.
Gatchalian’s Basic Education and Early Childhood Education Alignment Act (Senate Bill No. 2029) seeks to align the ECCD curriculum with the basic education curriculum. It also seeks to make local government units (LGUs) more accountable on the implementation of ECCD programs.
The EDCOM II’s report titled “Miseducation: The Failed System of Philippine Education” enumerated different challenges hounding the country’s ECCD system. According to data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the ECCD Council, only 36% or 15,207 out of 42,027 barangays in the country have at least one child development center (CDC) per day care. The Barangay-Level Total Development and Protection of Children Act of 1990 (Republic Act No. 6972) requires each province, city, or municipality to establish a day care center in every barangay.
The EDCOM II report also found that most daycare teachers and workers are aging and lack training in early childhood education (ECE). While 52% of these daycare teachers and workers have a college degree and 17% have a high school diploma, only few of them have trained in ECCD. Since 2005, there have only been 3,993 ECE graduates or about 80 annually from the 224 higher education institutions offering the program.
The report further found that 89% of child development teachers and workers hold nonpermanent positions and receive an average of P5,000 per month.
While Gatchalian’s proposed measure mandates the ECCD Council to ensure the alignment of early childhood education to basic education, LGUs should aim to achieve universal coverage for the national ECCD System by identifying and supporting young children, their parents, and their parent substitutes. LGUs shall also be mandated to create plantilla positions for child development workers and child development teachers and promote their professional development.