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Gatchalian wants to tap college volunteers as tutors in proposed nationwide remedial program

In rolling out a learning recovery program to address learning loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Win Gatchalian is proposing tapping college students as tutors.


PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES – A Padre Zamora Elementary School student reviews her lesson materials for a simulation of module-based distance learning ahead of the opening of the previous school year, 22 July 2020 file. Senator Win Gatchalian’s proposed ARAL program will include well-systematized tutorial sessions and shall be undertaken through face-to-face, online, or blended learning to ensure their accessibility to all learners. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

Under Senate Bill No. 2355 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act, which Gatchalian filed last year, tertiary level students may volunteer as tutors provided that they are at or above the 75th percentile of their respective school cohorts in the subject that they will be teaching.

Tertiary level students who will serve as tutors shall be deemed to have completed their Literacy Training Service under the National Service Training Program (NSTP). For students who would like to volunteer as tutors, they have to pass a mock tutoring session administered by the Department of Education (DepEd). Aside from college students, teachers and para-teachers shall serve as tutors under the proposed ARAL Program

Gatchalian proposed the establishment of the ARAL Program to serve as a national learning intervention program, which will include well-systematized tutorial sessions. It will focus on the most essential learning competencies under Language and Mathematics for Grades 1 to 10, and Science for Grades 3 to 10. For kindergarten learners, numeracy and literacy skills will be given focus.

Learners who are struggling to achieve the minimum level of mastery required in Language, Mathematics, and Science are the intended beneficiaries of the proposed ARAL Program. The program also aims to benefit learners who did not enroll in School Year (SY) 2020-2021 to encourage their return to school.

“Sa pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon, higit nating kinakailangan ang tulong ng ating mga komunidad, kabilang ang mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo. Dahil sa lawak ng naging epekto ng pandemya sa sektor ng edukasyon, dapat palawigin ang ating mga pagsisikap upang maabot ang mas maraming mga mag-aaral,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

After more than a year without in-person classes, the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes started in November 2021. Schools in Metro Manila joined the pilot program the following December. Face-to-face classes were again suspended in areas where Alert Level 3 was reimposed because of the most recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

The DepEd recently said that it will pursue a learning recovery program amid the lack of in-person classes due to the pandemic.