While the Marcos administration has successfully led the safe resumption of full face-to-face classes during its first year, Senator Win Gatchalian said the government should keep pushing for reforms to address the country’s education crisis.
Aside from ensuring the safe reopening of schools for full face-to-face classes last November, Gatchalian lauded the administration’s commitment to fully implement the Excellence in Teacher Education Act (Republic Act No. 11713), which seeks to improve the quality of teacher education by revamping the Teacher Education Council (TEC).
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 seeks the full implementation of the Excellence in Teacher Education Act, which Gatchalian authored and sponsored during the 18th Congress. In her Basic Education Report 2023, Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Duterte vowed to make the new TEC fully functional and start working on its mandates.
Gatchalian meanwhile vowed that he will continue working with the administration in pursuing its other priorities, including the review of the K to 12 Program. The senator is currently presiding over a Senate review of the implementation of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K to 12 Law (Republic Act No. 10533) through Proposed Senate Resolution No. 5.
For Gatchalian, efforts to review and revise the K to 12 curriculum should lead to improvements in learner outcomes. Gatchalian recalled the dismal results of international large-scale assessments such as the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), where the Philippines ranked last out of 79 countries in Reading, and second to the last in Science and Mathematics.
“Mahalagang ipagpatuloy ng administrasyon ang pagpapatupad ng mga reporma upang maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa at matuldukan ang krisis na bumabalot sa sektor. Patuloy naman tayong makikipag-ugnayan sa administrasyon upang maipaabot sa kabataang Pilipino ang dekalidad na edukasyon,” said Gatchalian.
Since the lack of face-to-face classes led to further deterioration of learning outcomes, Gatchalian also pressed the urgency of implementing an effective learning recovery program. The Senate already approved on third and final reading the ARAL Program Act (Senate Bill No.1604), a bill that Gatchalian filed which seeks to institute a nationwide program for learning recovery.
Gatchalian also cited the role of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) in pushing for reforms to address the country’s education woes.