/ 5 June 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian vowed to pursue reforms that will address the education crisis and improve the performance of the country’s learners.

Gatchalian will keep his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the 19th Congress.

Among his priorities are the full resumption of face-to-face classes, the review of the K to 12 system and upholding the welfare of teachers.

“Sa ating pagpapatuloy bilang chairman ng Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, bibigyan natin ng prayoridad ang pagtugon sa krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon. Sa pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon mula sa hagupit ng pandemya, iaangat natin ang kalidad ng edukasyon at itataguyod ang kapakanan ng ating mga guro,” Gatchalian said.

He vowed to exercise the Senate’s oversight power on the implementation of landmark laws that he sponsored in the 18th Congress.

The laws include the Alternative Learning System Act or Republic Act 11510, the Excellence in Teacher Education Act or Republic Act 11713 and Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education Act or Republic Act 11650.

The lawmaker also sponsored the measure on the creation of the Second Congressional Commission on Education or EDCOM II, which seeks to conduct a national assessment and evaluation of the Philippine education sector’s performance.

To uphold the welfare of teachers, Gatchalian urged the incoming administration to ensure the full implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers or Republic Act No. 4670.

He said that the incoming administration should give priority to raising teachers’ salaries and ensuring adequate health insurance for them.

He added that the Department of Education should follow the recommendation of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies to conduct studies on teachers’ workload, which will rationalize the job function of public school teachers and allow them to allocate more time for teaching.