Senator Win Gatchalian called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to immediately probe reports of what he calls the “sagot for sale” scheme, where parents hire someone else to answer their children’s self-learning modules.
The lawmaker also warned parents that by engaging in this practice, their children will bear the brunt since their learning and development will be compromised no matter what time frame.
In the latest public hearing, which tackled updates on Academic Year 2020-2021, Gatchalian referred to an earlier report by the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) which pointed to how struggling parents hire someone else—some of whom they find online—to answer their children’s modules.
“Huwag naman sanang gawin ng mga magulang iyon dahil kawawa ang mga bata. Hindi natin sila natutulungang matuto sa ganyang mga paraan,” Gatchalian said.
He also said that the Basic Education Committee will have another hearing on the methodology of assessing learners’ performance. According to the Department of Education (DepEd), 99.13 percent of the more than 14 million public school learners passed the first quarter. This excludes data from the National Capital Region, Region 7, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The scenario in Valenzuela is different, however, and more consistent with the low national achievement scores, Gatchalian pointed out. Among Grade 8 learners, the average is about 48 percent across different subjects. In Grade 9, the average across different subjects is 51 percent, and 55 percent among Grade 10 learners, way below the passing rate of 75 percent.
While Gatchalian acknowledges that the DepEd’s report is only based on what the regions submitted, he reiterated that there is a need for a better understanding of how learners are evaluated under the distance learning setup, which has been hounded by challenges such as the lack of interaction with teachers and reliable internet connectivity.
“I know this is challenging, but again we need to fully understand the assessment conducted by the DepEd. And we also want to see a per subject analysis because we all know that we need to help our students by looking at their weaknesses in different subject matters,” Gatchalian added.