/ 10 January 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian called on the government anew to implement a nationwide remedial program to accelerate learning recovery after the Department of Finance warned that the lack of face-to-face classes would scar the economy.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently said that the government must find a way to regain the school days lost due to the pandemic as they will affect the quality of education and eventually the youth’s earning capacity.

“Hindi lamang ang pag-aaral ng mga bata ang maaapektuhan sa kawalan ng face-to-face classes. Mapipinsala rin ang kanilang kakayahang magkaroon ng maayos na hanapbuhay dahil hindi sila nakatanggap ng epektibo at dekalidad na edukasyon. Kaya naman isinusulong natin ang programang ARAL upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga kabataang makahabol sa kanilang edukasyon,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said.

Under Senate Bill 2355 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning or ARAL Program Act, Gatchalian proposed a well-systematized tutorial sessions for learners who are struggling to achieve the minimum level of mastery required in Language, Mathematics and Science.

The proposed ARAL program aims to cover the most essential learning competencies on language and mathematics for Grades 1 to 10 and Science for Grades 3 to 10. Numeracy and literary skills, meanwhile, will be the focus for kindergarten learners.

It also seeks to focus on reading to develop learners’ critical and analytical thinking skills.

The proposed program also aims to target learners who did not enroll for School Year 2020-2021.

Last year, the World Bank warned that learning poverty could worsen because of the impact of the Covid19 pandemic.

Learning poverty is defined as the percentage of children aged 10 who could not read or understand a simple story.