Tuesday, March 19, 2013

dear DepEd

Dear DepEd, I am extremely thrilled to hear that you have partnered with Johnson & Johnson and Play Pilipinas on the advocacy campaign 'Di Lang Laro Ang Laro. I totally agree that 1 hour of daily active play will ensure a child's holistic development

But I really wish you could do something about the volume of homework and the highly-advanced lessons in private traditional schools nowadays. By the time kids finish studying for quizzes (Noah's school has a not-more-than-3-quizzes-per-day rule at that) and doing their homework, there is very little time left to play (worse, if your child rides the schoolbus home).

It doesn't help that the lessons are harder nowadays with preschoolers tackling multiplication (I swear, those flash cards came out not earlier than Grade 4 during my time) and Grade 1 students already studying fractions and capacity. My Grade 1 Noah even had to memorize how long it takes for each planet to revolve around the sun (from Mercury's 88 days to Neptune's 165 years), including the number of moons of and the gases (like carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen & methane) found on each planet, for his 4th Quarter Exams this year!

I am pleasantly surprised that they are able to learn these things at such a young age, but I think it is much too taxing on them -- limiting their time to play, their time to enjoy childhood.

I know that it probably isn't you, dear DepEd, that requires these levels of academic excellence. It is highly likely that this is the schools' own doing. But just as you impose the minimum academic requirement on these schools' curriculum, I wish you would also set the maximum. After all, while too little is indeed bad, too much is just as bad.

Don't get me wrong, dear DepEd. I am glad that the stewards of education of our country understands that the playground is also a classroom for mental development...

... for physical development...

... and for social development. 

I just really wish that my child had more time to learn these things in the playground rather than doing worksheets on his study desk.

Disclaimer: I am writing this without having done any research on DepEd's required curriculum. I am just writing as a mother who, while watching her child study every day after school, worries that he is missing out on his childhood.

Photos are from  annnniegirl and courtesy of Johnson's Baby.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series. Click here for the of-dots-&-things version of this post.

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