Re-electionist Senator Win Gatchalian has vowed to prioritize the recovery of the country’s education sector from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Gatchalian, who is currently serving as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, he will continue to push for the safe reopening of schools and the resumption of face-to-face classes. He added that his legislative agenda will also focus on improving both the quality of education and the country’s public schools where about 90% of learners nationwide are enrolled.
The World Bank estimates that learning poverty, or the percentage of 10-year-old children who cannot read or understand a simple story, is at 90% in the Philippines. This figure will likely worsen because of prolonged school closures. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) also estimates that the yearlong lack of face-to-face classes will result in P11 trillion in productivity losses over the next 40 years.
“Hindi pa tapos ang ating trabaho. Kaya ang aking adbokasiya: isulong natin ang kapakanan at karapatan ng bawat mag-aaral tungo sa isang dekalidad na edukasyon.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Gatchalian sponsored Senate Bill No. 2485 or the Second Congressional Commission on Education Act (EDCOM II), which the Senate recently approved on third reading. The proposed EDCOM II will undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector to recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted education reforms.
Gatchalian is also the author and sponsor of the Excellence in Teacher Education Act, which seeks to improve the quality of teacher education and training in the country. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report of the proposed measure last January.
To address the needs of learners with disabilities, Gatchalian sponsored the measure titled Instituting a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education Act. Both houses of Congress have ratified the bicameral conference committee report of the proposed measure last year.
Gatchalian also successfully pushed for measures such as the Good Manners and Right Conduct and Values Education Act (Republic Act No. 11476), the National Academy of Sports (Republic Act No. 11470), the Alternative Learning System Act (Republic Act No. 11510), and the amendment to the law on the school opening date (Republic Act No. 11480).