MANILA – Ahead of the celebration of the International Day of Education on Jan. 24, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian continues to urge the government to implement learning recovery programs that will mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged lack of face-to-face classes.
While the resumption of five days of full in-person classes is a significant step in the restoration of normalcy in the basic education sector, Gatchalian said the failure to address learning loss will lead to a deepening of economic scars.
Based on the World Bank’s simulation analysis of learning losses, the learning adjusted years of schooling (LAYS) will decrease from 7.5 years to around six years. This means that 12 years of basic education will only be equivalent to around six years of effective schooling because of the pandemic.
The National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) revised estimates further show that the Philippine economy will lose PHP10.1 trillion over the next 40 years because of the suspension of in-person classes.
To avert the effects of the pandemic, Gatchalian has proposed the establishment of a national learning intervention known as the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program which is outlined in his proposed Senate Bill No.1604.
This will be grounded on premises such as well-systematized tutorial sessions, well-designed learning remediation plans and resources, and the careful determination and assessment of learners, among others.
The ARAL Program will prioritize reading and numeracy and focus on essential learning competencies in Language and Mathematics for Grades 1 to 10, and Science for Grades 3 to 10.
The program also aims to strengthen the numeracy and literacy skills of Kindergarten learners.
“Bagama’t ang pagbabalik ng face-to-face classes ay mahalagang hakbang sa pagbabalik-normal ng ating sektor ng edukasyon, kailangan pa rin nating magpatupad ng mga programa upang tugunan ang mas malalim pang naging pinsala ng pandemya, lalo na sa kakayahan at kaalaman ng ating mga mag-aaral (Even if face-to-face classes is an important step toward the return to normalcy of our education sector, we still need to establish programs to address the more serious damage inflicted by the pandemic, especially in the ability and knowledge of our students),” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
The World Bank has estimated that learning poverty as of June 2022 in the Philippines was 90.9 percent.
Learning poverty is the percentage of children aged 10 who cannot read or understand a simple story. (PNA)