Gov’t should tap college students as tutors in nationwide learning recovery program—Gatchalian

Published January 19, 2022, 12:30 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday said the government should consider tapping the services of college students as tutors when it rolls out a national learning recovery program.

Gatchalian stressed it is necessary to consider all possible options to address the learning gap among students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senate Basic Education, Arts and Culture Committee chairman further said it is urgent for the Department of Education (DepEd) to pursue a nationwide learning remedial program due to the lack of in-person classes.

“Sa pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon, higit nating kinakailangan ang tulong ng ating mga komunidad, kabilang ang mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo (For the education sector to recover, we need te help of our community, including our college students),” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Dahil sa lawak ng naging epekto ng pandemya sa sektor ng edukasyon, dapat palawigin ang ating mga pagsisikap upang maabot ang mas maraming mga mag-aaral (Due to the extent of the pandemic to the education sector, we need to expand our initiatives so we can reach out to many students),” said Gatchalian.

Last year, the senator filed Senate Bill No. 2355 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act, which seeks to allow tertiary level students to volunteer as tutors provided that they are at or above the 75th percentile of their respective school partners in the subject that they will be teaching.

The program also aims to benefit learners who did not enroll in School Year (SY) 2020-2021 to encourage their return to school.

Under the bill, tertiary level students who will serve as tutors shall be deemed to have completed their Literacy Training Service under the National Service Training Program (NSTP).

For students who would like to volunteer as tutors, they have to pass a mock tutoring session administered by the DepEd.

Aside from college students, teachers and para-teachers shall also serve as tutors under the proposed ARAL Program.

Gatchalian, who is seeking a re-election in the upcoming May 2022 elections, said the f the ARAL Program will serve as a national learning intervention program, which will include well-systematized tutorial sessions.

He said the program will focus on the most essential learning competencies under Language and Mathematics for Grades 1 to 10, and Science for Grades 3 to 10; while for kindergarten learners, numeracy and literacy skills will be given focus.