Next admin should tap local gov’t participation in education reform programs—Gatchalian

Published June 14, 2022, 10:27 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday, June 14, called for an increased participation among local government units (LGUs) in improving the delivery and quality of basic education in the country.

Gatchalian said it would be good if the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will mobilize local governments to increase their involvement in education.

The senator said LGUs played a crucial role in ensuring learning continuity amid the Covid-19 oandemic, noting that the proximity of local governments to their constituencies allows them to be more responsive and flexible when it comes to their needs.

He also said he believes that incoming Education Secretary and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio can carry out such plans since she won more than 61 percent of votes during the last May 2022 elections.

According to Gatchalian, the Vice-President elect has the political capital to effectively implement reforms that will address the education crisis.

“Nakita natin nitong panahon ng pandemya kung gaano kahalaga ang papel ng mga lokal na pamahalaan upang matiyak ang pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon, lalo na’t mas nauunawaan nila ang pangangailangan ng mga mag-aaral at mga guro sa kanilang mga nasasakupan (We’ve seen during the pandemic how the role of local governments became crucial in continuing education, especially since they understand the needs of students and the teachers within their jurisdiction),” Gatchalian said.

“Sa pagpasok ng bagong administrasyon, kailangang palawigin din natin ang papel ng lokal na pamahalaan at gawin silang katuwang sa pag-angat sa kalidad ng edukasyon (In the next administration, we need to broaden the role of local governments so they can be partners in increasing the quality of education),” he added.

Gatchalian, who is set to maintain chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the 19th Congress, had earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1579 or the 21st Century School Boards Act.

The proposed law seeks to mandate local school boards to formulate and implement reforms and policies to improve the quality of education.

Gatchalian had repeateldy called for a nationwide education reforms noting how the Philippines has lagged behind other countries especially among Southeast Asian countries.