Commentary, Customs

Peru: Rules and New Experiences the Start of Garden Kindergarten

Flora and fauna represented by the children of Cuzco (Photo: Alonzo Riley)

In Peru, in 2011, the MINEDU (The national Ministry of Education) established a norm of 3 years old for compulsory kindergarten. This stage covers children 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years) of age. The norm also holds that only children who have turned 3 by the 31st of March can enroll in kindergarten. If the child’s birthday is April 1st, although this is only a day of difference, she or he cannot enroll. They will have to lose this year and when 4 years old can enroll.

For a long time, parents have requested that there be more flexibility with the date established by the norm. But as of 2018, the norm 2011 norm which was ratified continues in force. For this reason, today’s parents have to plan when to get pregnant so their children can be born before March 31 and can do their 3-years of kindergarten normally without losing a school year.

The three years of kindergarten is really an experience that will never be forgotten. For the first time in the life of the parents they face a great responsibility for the education of their children. At the beginning the idea of leaving your child alone for several hours with the teacher is one that does not let you sleep because in your mind you create ideas about what kindergarten will be. You think they will cry, that another child might hit them, that the teacher will shout at them and that your child is not used to shouting because at home they have always treated with love. You do not know if they can endure so many hours away from home and from mom’s care.

Months before your child turns three you are already wondering in which kindergarten to place them, in which of them will you find the best teacher for them, because you love him or her so much that you want to find the perfect place no matter if It is a private or public kindergarten. The only thing that matters is that it is a place where your child is happy learning and they feel love from others.

You visit various kindergartens to choose the right one, until you find it finally and you carry out your child’s registration. The day you register them, they suddenly they give you a sheet and they tell you: this is the list of school supplies needed. You look at the sheet and all of it is full of letters. It is an immense list of useful and if this were not enough you turn the page and there is a list written by hand with utensils that were added. You feel emotion as you buy those supplies that same afternoon. All this counts between 400 and 500 soles ($120-$150 US) `. You wonder what happens to parents who have two or three children studying if it is hard for us to pay for one. For this reason, I advise future parents to save money little by little so that you have enough by the time your child is ready for kindergarten.
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Finally, on the first day of classes arrives with its excitement. All the children are accompanied by their parents, each with their phones taking pictures of each step their child takes in the kindergarten. You feel so much the love that you want everything to be recorded in photos. That’s where you realize that all the ideas that you created in your mind with regard to how it will be in in kindergarten were wrong. You see your child happy, making new friends, and you realize that it is not the child but you who is nervous for the first day of classes. You are the one who starts crying. You are the one who feels abandoned, and you are the one who cannot stand being alone. But, you will endure all this as a mother for your child’s happiness and for the new adventures that will for your child and for you. In this new stage and in all those that come you will always be together fighting for each day to be better than the last.

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