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Win Gatchalian seeks Senate inquiry into state of basic education in BARMM

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking a Senate Basic Education Committee inquiry into the low enrollment and poor learners performance in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Several decades of armed conflict and civil unrest have greatly affected the quality of basic education as evident in the performance of BARMM in several education indicators,” Gatchalian said in filing proposed Senate Resolution 455.

“Despite the efforts in improving access to quality basic education in BARMM, the learners’ enrollee turnout still continues to decline over the years,” he added.

Gatchalian chairs the Senate education committee.

The inquiry aims to check the status of implementation of the education provisions of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the Bangsamoro Education Code of 2021 to address the dismal performance of students and improve access to quality basic education in the region.

He cited in his resolution the “persistent problem” of low Net Enrollment Rate (NER) in BARMM, with only about 36% of individuals aged 12 to 15 are enrolled in junior high school, and 10% of individuals aged 16 to 17 are enrolled in senior high school.

Citing the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority's Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, Gatchalian mentioned that among the top reasons for non-attendance in schools are the high cost of education with 21%, accessibility of schools 17%, and lack of personal interest 16%.

Gatchalian also raised the Cohort Survival data for BARMM which showed that for every 100 children who enrolled in Grade 1 in School Year 2010-2011, only 17 were able to graduate Grade 12 in SY 2021-2022, lower than the national average of 57 Grade 12 graduates in SY 2021-2022 out of every 100 Grade 1 enrollees in SY 2010-2011.

Further, the senator said the National Achievement Tests (NAT) results in the region revealed that Grade 6 learners exhibit near proficiency in English with 52.4% and Mathematics with 52%, and low proficiency in Science 46%. — RSJ GMA Integrated News