Sen. Gatchalian emphasizes focus on reading and math for young learners

·Contributor
·2 min read
Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture Chairman Senator Sherwin
Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture Chairman Senator Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian. (Photo: Sherwin Gatchlian/Facebook)

Given the experts’ observations of the K to 12 program as “too overcrowded,” Senator Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian on Tuesday (June 28) emphasized the need for younger students to improve their abilities in critical subjects such as reading and mathematics.

He said that experts have observed that students are struggling under the current K to 12 curriculum “because learners are required to learn too many competencies,” and it affects a student’s ability to master a basic competency.

Gatchalian, who is set to retain his chairmanship of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the 19th Congress, said that to compensate for the learning loss due to school closures brought about by the pandemic, he will propose learning recovery programs especially focused on reading and dealing with the numbers.

ARAL Program Act

During the 18th Congress, Gatchalian proposed in Senate Bill No. 2355 or the Academic Recovery Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program Act, wherein students in Grades 1 to 10 will cover Language and Mathematics as core learning competencies, and Science for Grades 3 to 10.

Meanwhile, reading will be prioritized “to develop critical and analytical thinking skills of learners,” and Kindergartners will have a special focus on literacy and numerical competencies “to build their foundational competencies.

Upang matugunan natin ang krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon, kailangan tutukan natin ang ating mga mag-aaral at tiyaking natututo sila nang husto,” said Gatchalian.

(In order for us to resolve the education crisis, we must ensure that our students are not just learning, but learning properly.)

Kailangang matiyak natin na matatag ang kanilang pundasyon lalo na pagdating sa pagbasa at mga numero dahil dito nakasalalay ang marami pang mga bagay na dapat nilang matutunan,” Gatchalian added, and cited a Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 report, where only 19% of Grade 4 students in the country were able to meet the minimum benchmark level in Mathematics.

(We have to make sure that their foundation is strong especially in reading and in numbers because it relies upon these two as to how they will learn and perform in their other subjects.)

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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