Gatchalian on final SONA: Duterte did not tackle PH's 'education crisis'

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday, July 27 expressed his disappointment that President Duterte did not mention the current "education crisis" in the Philippines in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Gatchalian said he was hoping the President would tackle the education crisis that started even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While he lauds the President for signing into law his landmark bill – the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education or the Free Tuition Law, Gatchalian said there is an urgent need to address the present "crisis" in the basic education sector.

This crisis, he said, is rooted from the struggle of learners to master basic competencies and their poor performance in international large-scale assessments.

Nevertheless, Gatchalian said he will file other bills to support learning recovery programs and the strengthening of the basic education sector.

The chair of the Senate COmmittee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said he plans to file a measure that would put a "catch up" plan to address the learning losses resulting from a year of school closures.

“Sa nalalabing mga buwan ng kasalukuyang administrasyon, tututukan natin ang muling pagbangon at pagpapatatag sa sektor ng edukasyon matapos ang pinsalang dulot ng pandemya (In the last months of this present administration, let's focus on reviving and strengthening the education sector following the onslaught of this pandemic)," Gatchalian said.

"Titiyakin nating makakapagpasa tayo ng mga angkop na batas upang maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon, gawing mas ligtas ang ating mga paaralan, at maging handa ang ating kabataan na tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng bansa (We will make sure we can pass the necessary laws that would improve the quality of education in the country, make our schools safe and equip our youth to respond to the needs of the nation),” said Gatchalian.

“With just a year left in office, there’s still a load of work that needs to be accomplished and with perseverance and strong resolve to get back to our feet and bring back a semblance of normalcy in our lives, I believe it can be realized,” the lawmaker emphasized.