Senator Win Gatchalian is proposing to institutionalize the holding of local education summits at least once a year to discuss issues, reforms, and programs.
Gatchalian made this proposal in the 21st Century School Boards Act (Senate Bill No. 155), where he sought to strengthen the role of local government units (LGUs) in improving the delivery and quality of education.
The proposed measure seeks to assign additional roles to the local school board, one of which is the holding of education summits to consult community members on issues and guide the prioritization of the Special Education Fund’s (SEF) allocation.
“Mahalaga ang pagsasagawa ng education summit sa ating mga local government units upang masuri natin ang mga hamong kinakaharap. Magiging daan din ang mga summit na ito upang matalakay ang mga solusyon at mga repormang kinakailangan upang maabot natin ang bawat bata at matiyak na makatatanggap sila ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Other proposed functions of the local school board under the measure are the formulation and institution of education reforms, which will be measured through the following indicators: participation rates of students; number of drop-outs and out-of-school youth; cohort survival rates; achievement scores in national tests or assessment tools and other standardized test scores; establishment of child development centers; and support to special needs education, Alternative Learning System (ALS), and the Parent Effectiveness Service Program, among others.
The bill also proposes to broaden the use of the SEF to cover the salaries and wages of teachers, non-teaching personnel, and pre-school teachers. The broadened use of the SEF will also cover educational research, the acquisition of books, learning materials, and information and communications technology (ICT) packages, and the implementation of ALS program, among others.
The expanded use of the SEF will also include the conduct of education summits, community town hall meetings, discussions, and consultations on information, issues, and concerns related to education.
Gatchalian recently participated in the First Provincial Education Summit in Basilan, where he called for an enhanced back-to-school campaign amid low enrollment in the region.