Gatchalian wants assessment of basic education level’s preparedness for upcoming school year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 13) -- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking to look into the preparedness of basic education institutions for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year while the pandemic is ongoing.

"Matapos ang isang taon ng distance learning kung saan marami tayong hinarap na mga hamon, mahalaga at napapanahong matiyak natin kung paano natin magagamit ang ating mga natutunan upang matiyak na sa susunod na school year ay magiging mas epektibo ang paghahatid natin ng edukasyon sa mga kabataan," said Gatchalian in a statement.

[Translation: After a year of distance learning where we faced many challenges, it’s important and timely to check how we can apply everything we have learned to ensure that the delivery of education to the youth will be more effective in the coming school year.]

Under Senate Resolution No. 739, the senator stressed the need to assess if basic education institutions can deliver quality education this school year, citing the challenges faced by students during the pandemic. These include the lack of gadgets, electricity, internet connection, appropriate learning space, and issues on the quality of modules.

He added that the lack of physical interaction, over-exposure to screens, and pressures leading to mental health problems are also considered as challenges in distance learning.

The senator cited the survey he commissioned with Pulse Asia, where 46% of parents said their children are learning, 30% cannot say if their children are learning or not, and 25% said their children are not learning.

The same survey also showed that answering modules, intermittent internet connection, difficulty in focusing or laziness to listen, and lack of gadgets were the top concerns of parents and students.

The resolution also seeks to evaluate if both public and private basic education institutions can safely resume face-to-face classes once the vaccine rollout is expanded to teachers.

The Department of Education is eyeing to open classes in August, but it said President Rodrigo Duterte will have the final say on the matter.