/ 24 August 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a bill that aims to provide struggling learners access to a free national remedial program, which includes well-systematized tutorial sessions.

Senate Bill 2355 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning or ARAL Program seeks to address the impact of prolonged school closures because of the pandemic.

Its beneficiaries are those who did not enroll in School Year 2020-2021, those who are lagging academically, and those who are at and marginally above the minimum level of mastery required in Language, Mathematics, and Science.

The program shall cover the most essential learning competencies under Language and Mathematics for Grades 1 to 10, and Science for Grades 3 to 10.

Reading shall be a priority to develop the critical and analytical thinking skills of learners.

The tutorial sessions shall be either face-to-face, online, or blended learning. They may be held on weekends during the school year or semestral breaks.

The tutors — teachers and para-teachers —shall be provided with proper remuneration for their services.

Tertiary level students who meet certain criteria can volunteer as tutors. Their services for two semesters shall be deemed as completion of the Literacy Training Service under the National Service Training Program.

“Sa pamamagitan ng isinusulong nating ARAL Program, maiiwasan natin ang pag-urong ng kaalaman ng mga mag-aaral at matutulungan natin silang makahabol sa kanilang pag-aaral. Ito ay magiging bahagi ng pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon mula sa pinsalang dulot ng pandemya,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

The ARAL Program also seeks the adequate provision of nutritional, social, emotional, and mental health support to learners.