Sen. Gatchalian tinutulan ang 7-8 hours online classes

Mahigpit na tinutulan ni Senador Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian ang panukala ng Department of Education (DepEd) na palawigin mula 6 hanggang 7 -8 oras ang online classes na magpapasama sa kalusugan ng mag-aaral partikular sa mata at kaisipan.

Sa kanyang pahayag, sinabi pa ni Gatchalian na dapat tiyakin na may suportang programa sa psychological at mental health para sa mag-aaral at guro bago magbukas ang klase sa Oktubre 5.

Ayon sa senador na hindi lamang nagresulta ng pagkawala ng natutunan ang pagsuspinde sa klase noong Marso, nakadagdag din sa stress ng mag-aral at pamilya nito habang papalapit ang blended learning matapos ianunsiyo na palalawigin ang online classes mula anim hanggang 7-8 hours kada araw na makakasama sa mata at isipan ng mag-aaral.

“In Valenzuela, for instance, learners will be using smartphones for their blended learning. Staring at a smartphone for 8 hours will not be a good idea especially since it will create a lot of strain to their eyes and to their minds. We cannot just mandate an 8-hour class on a cellphone. We have to make sure that their welfare will not be affected,” ayon kay Gatchalian, chairman ng Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of mental stress for the students and their parents. We need to balance mental stress and the mental well-being of families. Many of them have already been experiencing a lot of stress—from livelihood, employment, and bringing food on their tables,” dagdag niya.

Dahil dito, sinabi ni Gatchalian na kailangan mabigyan ng psychological at mental health support habang nagkukumahog ang mga edukador sa pagpapakalat ng pangangailangan at maraming mag-aaral ang nakakaranas ng pagkabalisa habang naghihinta sa pagsisimula ngklase sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic.

Aniya, pormal nang isinama ang psychological at mental health support sa panukalang Better Normal para sa ligtas na pagbubukas ng klase.

“When a state of calamity was declared last March due to COVID-19, the education sector saw an unprecedented suspension of classes in all levels. The opening of classes in the basic education sector was eventually moved to August 24, and finally to October 5,” ayon kay Gatchalian.

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill No. 1565, inaatasan ang mga guro na pumalit kung walang guidance counselor sa alinmang paaralan. Hahasain sila na kilalanin ang age-related behavioral at cognitive changes upang makapgbigay ng agaran at kaukulang solusyon kabilang ang psychosocial first aid.

“Schools will also be mandated to develop and integrate age-specific counseling sessions during the required class hours,” ayon kay Gatchalian.

Ipinanukala din ni Gatchalian na isama ang isang ‘Safe School Reopening Plan’ hindi lamang tuwing magbubukas ang klase, kundi bago o pagkatapos ng emergencies kabilang ang kalamidad, public health crises, at iba pang sitwasyon na nagdulot ng malawakang paghinto ng klase.

“When Taal Volcano erupted early this year, up to eight million learners from nearly 7,900 schools were affected,” ayon kay Gatchalian.

Kahit tiniyak ng DepEd na magkakaroon ng probisyon ng psychological support ang ahensiya sa mahigit 21.7 milyhong public school learners, sinabi ni Gatchalian na tiyakin dapat ang mga interventions na ito sa pangmatagalan upang maging resilient at responsive ang education sector.

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