To ensure the continuity of education even amidst emergencies, Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for the institutionalization of alternative delivery modes, including online learning.
Last year, Gatchalian filed the Digital Transformation of Basic Education Act (Senate Bill No. 383) to accelerate the digital transformation of the basic education sector. Under the proposed measure, the Department of Education (DepEd) shall mandate all schools to enhance and strengthen their Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) capacity to implement distance learning.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will assist both the DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on the use of science, technology, and innovation to improve traditional teaching and learning processes and boost the basic education sector towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“What if we have school cancellation for two weeks? Our learners should have some form of alternative delivery of education and those should be institutionalized and our teachers should be capacitated. We have to prepare ourselves for any eventuality for teachers to continue to teach and our learners to continue to learn. That’s a reality we have to face,”,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian earlier filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 689, which seeks an inquiry on the readiness of basic education institutions for Academic Year 2023-2024. The proposed inquiry seeks an immediate assessment of both the effectiveness and challenges of delivering both face-to-face classes and learning through alternative delivery modes.
The proposed inquiry also considers the looming threat of El Niño and the public clamor for the return of school breaks during the months of April and May.
“That’s why we have to make this a formal policy already, maybe through a law that will enable our learners to continue to learn and enable our teachers to continue to teach,” Gatchalian added.