Press Release
September 9, 2022

Gatchalian reiterates need to invest in learning recovery to mitigate impact of school closures

Senator Win Gatchalian has reiterated the urgent need to invest in the implementation of a nationwide program for academic recovery to avert the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including trillions of pesos in productivity losses resulting from the lack of face-to-face classes.

In a Senate panel hearing on Senate Bill No. 150 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education has pointed out the economic consequences of shutting down schools. The ARAL Program is Gatchalian's proposed national core strategy to allow learners to catch up with the rest of the world despite their learning loss. The proposed program will include well-systematized tutorial sessions and well-designed remediation plans.

Based on estimates by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the lack of face-to-face classes for a year will result in P10.8 trillion in productivity losses over the next 40 years. To implement the ARAL Program, Gatchalian's initial proposal is to allocate P20 billion. While the amount seems big, Gatchalian emphasized that this amount is only 0.18% of the looming productivity losses.

"Twenty billion pesos is only 0.18% of the potential productivity losses for the next 40 years. So to avert that, P20 billion is actually quite cheap to spend on an academic recovery program. On the other side, if you don't do anything, we lose P10 trillion right away," said Gatchalian.

"If we don't do a massive academic recovery program, we will see a much worse number for our assessments because during pre-pandemic it was already dismal," Gatchalian added.

The proposed ARAL program targets learners who did not enroll for School Year 2020-2021, those who are lagging academically, and those who are at and marginally above the minimum level of mastery required in Language, Mathematics, and Science. It will cover the most essential learning competencies under Language and Mathematics for Grades 1 to 10, and Science for Grades 3 to 10. For Kindergarten learners, literacy and numeracy competencies will be given focus to build on their foundational competencies.

Based on World Bank estimates, learning poverty in the Philippines is at 90.9% as of June 2022. Learning poverty is defined as the percentage of children aged 10 who cannot read or understand a simple story.

Gatchalian: Gastusan ang learning recovery upang maiwasan ang dagok sa ekonomiya

Muling iginiit ni Senador Win Gatchalian ang pagpapatupad ng programa para sa learning recovery upang mapigilan ang matinding pinsalang dulot ng pandemya ng COVID-19, kabilang ang productivity losses na katumbas ng trilyon-trilyong piso dahil sa kawalan ng face-to-face classes.

Sa isang pagdinig sa Senate Bill No. 150 o ang Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act, binigyang diin ng Chairman ng Senate Committee on Basic Education ang dagok sa ekonomiya na dulot ng pagsasara ng mga paaralan. Ang ARAL Program ang panukala ni Gatchalian upang makahabol ang mga mag-aaral sa kabila ng learning loss na kanilang nararanasan. Magiging bahagi ng naturang panukala ang mga sistematikong tutorial sessions at remediation para sa mga mag-aaral.

Tinataya ng National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) na ang kawalan ng face-to-face classes para sa isang taon ay magdudulot ng productivity loss na katumbas ng halos labing-isang (10.8) trilyong piso sa susunod na apatnapung (40) taon. Upang maipatupad ang ARAL Program, nagpapanukala si Gatchalian ng halagang dalawampung (20) bilyong piso, wala pang isang (0.18) porsyento ng pinangangambahang productivity loss.

"Ang P20 billion ay 0.18% lamang ng maaaring maging productivity loss sa susunod na 40 taon. Upang maiwasan natin ang ganitong kalaking kawalan, masasabing hindi ganun kalaki ang P20 billion upang maipatupad ang programa sa academic recovery. Samantalang kung wala tayong gagawin ay mawawalan tayo ng P10 trillion," ani Gatchalian.

"Kung hindi tayo magpapatupad ng programa para sa academic recovery, makikita natin ang mas mababang marka para sa ating mga mag-aaral lalo na't nahihirapan na sila bago pa tumama ang pandemya," dagdag pa ng senador.

Target ng panukalang ARAL Program ang mga mag-aaral na hindi nag-enroll para sa School Year 2020-2021, ang mga nahihirapan sa kanilang pag-aaral, at iyong mga naka-abot at bahagyang nakaka-angat sa minimum level ng mastery sa Language, Mathematics, at Science. Tututukan ng programa ang most essential learning competencies sa Language at Mathematics para sa Grade 1 hanggang Grade 10, samantalang tututukan din ang Science para sa Grade 3 hanggang Grade 10. Para sa mga mag-aaral sa Kindergarten, tututukan ang kanilang mga kakayahan para sa literacy at numeracy.

Tinataya ng World Bank na ang learning poverty sa Pilipinas ay umabot na sa mahigit siyamnapung (90.9) porysento buhat nitong Hunyo 2022. Ang learning poverty ang porsyento ng mga batang may edad na sampu na hindi makabasa o makaunawan ng simpleng kwento.

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