A Pulse Asia Survey commissioned by Senator Win Gatchalian highlights the vulnerability of poorer households to the impact of school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results of the survey, which was conducted last June 7-16 with 1,200 respondents nationwide, showed that among those who agree with resuming face-to-face classes, 73% from Class E and 61% from Class D say that students learn more in school than at home compared to 55% from Class ABC.
The demand for a return to in-person learning is also higher (44%) among respondents nationwide, 33% were unsure, and 23% disagree. Agreement to have face-to-face classes is higher among classes E (49%) and D (44%) compared to households in classes ABC (32%).
For respondents with children enrolled in public school, 62% agree that learners should be allowed to attend the coming school year physically. When disaggregated by social classes, agreement to have face-to-face classes is again higher among classes D (63%) and E (60%) compared to classes ABC (53%). Among parents with children in private schools, agreement to have face-to-face classes is at 46% with stronger demand in Classes D (51%) and E (55%) compared to ABC (22%).
In the same survey, the incidence of non-enrollment nationwide is 12%, with higher incidence observed in Class D (7%) and Class E (11%) compared to Class ABC (2%) among respondents with children who could enroll in basic education.
“Clearly, there is a need to bridge the learning divide,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.
“This is why I filed a bill which aims to provide well-systematized tutorial sessions to learners who did not enroll in SY 2020-2021 and those who struggle to master the required proficiency in Language, Mathematics, and Science,” he emphasized.
To mitigate learning losses because of school closures, especially among vulnerable learners, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 2355, which will institute a free national remedial program to be known as the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program.
Aside from being able to learn more in school (62%), respondents who agree with having face-to-face classes cite the difficulty in supporting students at home (57%) and they think they are not qualified or able to teach students at home (50%).
“Ang pinsala ng mahigit isang taong pagsasara ng mga paaralan ay mas mabigat para sa ating mga magulang at mag-aaral na nangangailangan. Kailangan nating tiyaking may mga mabisang programa tayong ipapatupad upang hindi sila lalong mapag-iwanan,” said Gatchalian.