FOLLOWING the results of another study that highlighted distance learning woes, Senator Win Gatchalian reiterated the urgency of safely reopening schools.
According to a study by the Psychosocial Support and Children’s Rights Resource Center (PSTCRRC) commissioned by Save the Children Philippines, 67% of student-respondents found it difficult to understand learning materials in modules or online classes, while 33% struggled with the motivation to study saying that the home is not a conducive learning environment.
The study used semi-structured interviews with 126 respondents—55 adolescents aged 13-18 and 71 adults who are parents, primary caregivers, or guardians of children aged 6-12. The respondents came from selected areas in Metro Manila.
“Ngayong nagsimula na tayo ng pagbabakuna sa mga menor de edad, hindi natin dapat hayaang umabot pa sa dalawang taon ang kawalan ng face-to-face classes. Malinaw mula sa mga pag-aaral na ang kawalan ng face-to-face classes ay may malaking pinsala sa mga kabataan. Dapat ding gawin natin ang lahat ng hakbang upang matiyak ang kaligtasan nila sakaling bumalik na sila sa mga paaralan,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
The government earlier announced that the nationwide vaccination of all minors aged 12-17 had started.
The end of December is the target for the completion of minors’ inoculation but may extend to January or February depending on the availability of vaccine supply.
To date, 90 public schools were already cleared to participate in the pilot test. These schools will be closely monitored for two months, while expansion is eyed in March next year.
Gatchalian earlier urged both the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) to shorten the timeline to allow more schools to reopen, noting that March 2022 will mark its second year since schools were shut because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of Gatchalian’s proposals is to use the alert levels assigned to local government units as the basis for allowing face-to-face classes. Schools participating in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes are in areas under Alert Level 2.