ACT: 53 learning days lost to heat index

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
ACT: 53 learning days lost to heat index
The sunset exudes its captivating golden hue as seen from Baguio City on June 17. 2024.
Andy Zapata / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — Fifty-three days of learning had been lost due to class disruptions brought by the high heat index and other calamities during school year 2023-2024, indicative of the need for comprehensive reforms in the education system, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said over the weekend.

Citing the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)’s recent findings that students lost nearly three months of learning in the past school year, the ACT called on the government to change its approach in dealing with the education crisis.

“These are symptoms of the grave education crisis and are interrelated to a myriad other problems in the public school system. That is why it is not enough to approach the problems surgically; instead, a comprehensive set of reforms must be carried out,” the ACT said.

Last week, the Second Congressional Commission on Education cited the PIDS’s findings and stressed that the learning losses have possibly weakened the implementation of the new Matatag curriculum.

The ACT said that the days lost during the past school year exposed the “pitiful state of our public schools,” which were rendered unequipped to handle overcrowding and the lack of ample ventilation.

“This is an issue of class size and facilities that can be best remedied with bold measures to build more classrooms, hire more teachers and upgrade our infrastructure standards,” it added.

The group also scored the teaching days lost due to teachers performing administrative duties.

“If only game-changing solutions were pursued long ago such as doubling the education budget and carrying out a thorough-going program of building and upgrading schools, hiring enough teachers and administrative staff and increasing their salaries and benefits and providing enough state-of-the-art facilities and the latest teaching and learning resources, we could have been reaping the benefits of such brave investments by now. We have to start somewhere with these substantial solutions, and we have to start now,” the ACT said.

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