/ 6 August 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian filed a resolution seeking an inquiry on the impact of the school closures due to the Covid19 pandemic.

Senate Resolution 11 seeks to identify and address the gaps in the Department of Education’s programs for learning continuity.

“Upang matiyak natin ang pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon, nais nating suriin at maunawaan ang pinsalang dulot ng pandemya ng Covid19. Kasunod nito ang pagpapatupad natin ng mga hakbang upang hindi mapag-iwanan ang ating mga mag-aaral,” Gatchalian said.

While the DepEd sought to address the pandemic’s impact, the senator said the basic education sector faced numerous problems that further exacerbate the already poor performance of the country’s learners.

A joint report by Unesco, Unicef and the World Bank revealed that learning poverty in the Philippines before the Covid19 pandemic was at 90.5 percent.

Learning poverty is defined as the share of children aged 10 who cannot read or understand a simple story.

According to the joint report, learning poverty in countries like the Philippines could increase by as much as 10 percentage points because of school closures.

The National Economic and Development Authority also estimates that a year of school closures is equivalent to P10.7 trillion in long-term productivity and income losses over the next 40 years.

Gatchalian said that the continuous disruption of in-person learning will result in severe consequences such as learners’ loss of basic numeracy and literacy skills, deteriorating mental health, lack of access to a regular source of nutrition and vulnerability to abuse.