/ 24 September 2023

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro expressed grave concern on the dismal learning situation in the country.

“Aside from its findings that the Philippines remains among the poorest in learning in East Asia and the Pacific, with nine out of 10 Filipinos unable to read and understand a simple, age-appropriate reading material by age 10, the World Bank report on the quality of education in the region, also red flagged the Philippines as being among the worst countries —because the Philippine government spending on education represented only 3.2 percent of the country’s wealth or gross domestic product when it should be at least 6,” Castro said.

The solon stressed this is a matter the Alliance of Concerned Teachers have been pointing out to correct for years now.

“The WB study also emphasized that central in solving the learning crisis is to support our teachers. This can be done by significantly increasing their salaries and benefits, lessening their workload and giving them ample time to rest and recharge. All of these have been raised by ACT decades ago but officials of the DepEd hardly listen,” she added.

Castro explained the unprecedendent drop in enrollment at the opening of this school year, with 2 million school-age children unaccounted for, revealed the ongoing damage to education caused by the pandemic years as well as the worsening economic situation, requiring urgent teaching and learning interventions, not surveillance activities nor trips abroad.

“With such a deep learning crisis, we need an educator with knowledge, experience, and compassion for students, teachers, and education workers who will focus full time at the helm of Deped. In short, we need someone who knows what she’s doing – not a politician who considers it a stepping stone to higher office and treats the Deped as a law enforcement agency,” Castro further said.