/ 20 August 2020

SENATOR Win Gatchalian warned that an academic freeze would end up increasing learning losses and inequalities among students.

Gatchalian clarified that while he was one of the first to propose a deferment of the supposed August 24 class opening to a later date due to uncertainties brought about by the increasing number of Covid19 cases, he strongly opposes an academic freeze.

The senator stressed that education will continue among well-prepared schools and advantaged learners with the means to continue learning, leaving behind their disadvantaged counterparts.

He added that providing all learners the opportunity to continue their education amid the pandemic gives them a fighting chance in terms of education and having a better future.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture also pointed out the examples of other countries, where time out of school led to learning losses that continued to accumulate even after schools reopened.

With the country deep in recession for the first time in many years, Gatchalian warned that the patterns observed in those countries could happen among Filipino youth if they are denied of learning opportunities.

To date, enrollment data show that more than four million learners are already at risk of becoming out of school children and youth.

“Kung susuriin natin ang naging karanasan ng mga bansang dumaan sa matinding krisis, malaking pinsala ang dulot sa kabataan kung hahayaan nating hindi sila mabigyan ng tama at dekalidad na edukasyon. Kaya imbes na tuluyang ipagpaliban ang pagbubukas ng klase, kailangang gamitin ang dagdag na panahon upang masigurong ang darating na pasukan ay magiging ligtas at mabisa para sa ating mga mag-aaral, guro, at mga kawani,” said Gatchalian.

Gatchalian also urged the Department of Education to ensure all learning materials are prepared before the official opening of classes on October 5.