/ 5 April 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday stressed the need to open all schools for limited face-to-face classes and implement a learning recovery program.

The chairman of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture said that this will help mitigate the impact of prolonged school closures following a new study stressing the persistence of high learning poverty in the Philippines amid the Covid19 pandemic.

A joint report of the UNICEF with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Bank titled ‘Where are We on Education Recovery?’ showed that less than 15 percent of 10-year-old children in the Philippines can read or understand a simple story.

This translates to a learning poverty of more than 85 percent, slightly lower than the World Bank estimate of 90 percent from last year.

In 2019, learning poverty in the Philippines was estimated at 69.5 percent.

Gatchalian believes that opening all schools for limited face-to-face classes is the first step to address the impact of Covid19 on the education sector.

To address learning losses resulting from the pandemic, he pressed the need for a comprehensive learning recovery program nationwide.

“Kailangang tutukan natin ang pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon upang matiyak na natututo nang husto ang ating mga mag-aaral. Sa ating pagbangon, dapat nating tiyakin ang ligtas na pagbabalik ng mga mag-aaral sa mga paaralan bilang pangunahing hakbang,” he said.

As of March 22, only 10,206 out of 14,396 nominated schools have started limited face-to-face classes.

There are more than 2.6 million learners participating in limited face-to-face classes, around 10% of the total student population for School Year 2021-2022.