Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Sunday he was calling for an inquiry to determine the preparedness of the basic education sector for the upcoming school year as many students still struggle in a distance learning setup.
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, filed Senate Bill 739 to assess if the basic education can deliver quality education for School Year 2021-2022, whether through face-to-face classes, distance learning, or other alternative learning modes.
The senator stressed the need to immediately assess the effectiveness and challenges of distance learning during the school year 2020-2021, when the country's basic and secondary sector first implemented the new setup.
The results of a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Gatchalian revealed that only 46% of Filipinos with a child in basic education say that their child is learning, while 30% cannot say whether their child is learning or not, and 25% said their child is not learning.
The same survey showed that the top concerns raised by parents, guardians, and learners when it comes to the current learning setup are having difficulty with answering modules, intermittent internet connection, difficulty in focusing or laziness to listen, and lack of gadgets for online learning.
"Matapos ang isang taon ng distance learning kung saan marami tayong hinarap na mga hamon, mahalaga at napapanahong matiyak natin kung paano natin magagamit ang ating mga natutunan upang matiyak na sa susunod na school year ay magiging mas epektibo ang paghahatid natin ng edukasyon sa mga kabataan," Gatchalian said.
Last March, the Senate adopted a resolution recommending the resumption of face-to-face classes in the country through pilot testing of localized limited physical classes.
A plan to gradually resume face-to-face classes in the elementary and high school levels last January was scrapped after new variants of the coronavirus emerged.