/ 18 May 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian sought an inquiry on the implementation of the Filipino Sign Language in the K to 12 basic education system.

He filed Senate Resolution No. 722 to identify and address gaps, issues, and challenges on the use of the FSL for deaf education in line with Republic Act 11106 or the Filipino Sign Language Act.

Gatchalian lamented that the law’s implementation has been neglected, giving rise to information barriers in deaf education.

Some of the problems he cited are insufficient training of teachers, non-promotion of the licensing and mobilization of deaf teachers, and lack of materials.

“Noong isabatas ang Filipino Sign Language Act, sinikap nating maging mas madali para sa ating mga deaf learners at teachers ang makilahok sa sistema ng ating edukasyon, ngunit hanggang ngayon ay marami pa rin sa kanila ang nahihirapan. Kaya susuriin nating mabuti kung paano matutugunan ang mga suliraning ito upang hindi mapag-iwanan ang ating mga deaf learners at teachers,” Gatchalian said.

The lawmaker pointed to the problem facing deaf teachers, saying the licensure examination for teachers does not match the competencies for which they are prepared for.

Because of this, deaf graduates end up as tutors with low-paying jobs instead of entering the educational system, he said.

For School Year 2016-2017, the Department of Education said there were 2,885 Special Education Teachers teaching 13,365 learners with diagnosed hearing impairment.