"Recess as a Favorite Subject" May Sound Funny, But Seriously, It Is Important
Children do need a break. Children need to experience childhood. In the poor neighborhoods of developing countries, children are forced into labor while in the middle class neighborhoods of developed countries, children become slaves to highly structured daily routines. It would really be sad to see a world where all children have been deprived of their childhood.
|School children in the Philippines doing laundry during their break|
From Rappler: Based on the curriculum guide provided by DepEd, the incoming grade 1 students will be taking up 6 subjects for an entire school year. Each subject will be taught for a maximum of 40 minutes per day:
Reading and Writing in the Mother Tongue - 40 minutes
Oral Fluency in Filipino - 40 minutes
Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) - 30 minutes
Mathematics or Arithmetic - 30 minutes
Araling Panlipunan (AP) - 30 minutes
Music, Arts, Physical Education, Health (MAPEH) - 30 minutes
When the second half of the school year comes, a 7th subject, Oral Fluency in English, will be introduced. This subject will be taught for 40 minutes.Thus, with the oral fluency in English added in the second half of the year, the total instructional time per day is 240 minutes or 4 hours. This information can then be combined with the following schedule found in schools that employ triple shifts:
It's shortly after dawn, but the youngest pupils in overcrowded Ilugin Elementary School in Pasig City are already in class. Ilugin's grade one students are part of the first shift in a school that needs to schedule classroom use in three shifts to accommodate all 1,800 of its students. The first shift begins at 6 a.m., ending at 10 a.m., while the last shift starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. - GMA News report:Each shift is four hours long. Of course, a 12-hour day can only be divided into three 4-hour shifts with no breaks between them. Physical Education is part of MAPEH, so students probably go through some physical exercise once every four days since MAPEH rotates around music, arts, physical education, and health. Not only does the new curriculum excludes science, and reading and writing in English, it does exclude Recess.
At the end of the last year, concerned that education reforms in the United States may be overemphasizing the academic side of education, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy statement on "The Crucial Role of Recess in School":
Recess is at the heart of a vigorous debate over the role of schools in promoting the optimal development of the whole child. A growing trend toward reallocating time in school to accentuate the more academic subjects has put this important facet of a child’s school day at risk. Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical beneﬁts that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons. Pediatrics 2013;131:183–188
Some children are not taught science. Some children are not taught how to read and write. Some children are working when they are not in school. Some children do not have Recess. Some children are indeed less fortunate.