P2.39 billion budget allocated for universal kindergarten law

The newly-signed law was given a higher budget compared to last year's allocation for basic education.

MANILA, Philippines – The government has allocated a higher budget for basic education in time for the implementation of the newly-passed universal kindergarten law.

Budget and Management secretary Florencio Abad said that the a budget of P2.39 billion was alloted to support Republic Act 10157, or the Kindergarten Education Act. The amount, which is covered by this year’s P238.8-billion budget for basic education, will come from the 2012 General Appropriations Act.

Abad said that the budget provided for the law is higher than last year’s budget for kindergarten education, which amounted to P2.34 billion.

“The early release will help facilitate the prompt execution of the universal kindergarten law for school year 2012-2013,” he said.

The Kindergarten Education Act was signed on January 20. Under this law, children from five years old and above will be required to undergo and pass kindergarten before moving up to Grade 1.

“With the Kindergarten Education Act now in place, we can give more Filipino children a stronger foundation for scholastic excellence and achievement. Of course, the law will require funding for its efficient implementation, and the Aquino government has addressed this need by releasing funds that were earmarked to support the law,” Abad said.

With this allocation increase, the education budget posted a 15.2-percent jump from the 2011 budget.

For school year 2011-2012, the Department of Education (DepEd) has implemented the universal public kindergarten program for 5-year old children. The new law, which will take effect next school year, makes this program mandatory and compulsory for entrance to Grade 1. -Rappler.com

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