Qualifying exams for acceleration proposed

A PROGRESSIVE party-list lawmaker on Saturday reiterated his call to provide qualifying examinations for acceleration considering the decrease in enrollees for the coming school year.

During a Senate inquiry, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malulan said that there is an estimated 4 million learners that are unenrolled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Magdalo party-list Rep. Manuel Cabochan III expressed his alarm over the figures.

“The decrease in enrollment rate could mean that there are 4 million students who would be left behind in their education. We need to guarantee that every Filipino student will have equal access to education and ensure their academic progression. Thus, I am proposing that qualifying examinations for acceleration be introduced,” Cabochan said.

The Magdalo lawmaker has filed House Bill (HB) No. 6994 which seeks to mandate the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide qualifying examinations for acceleration of students affected by a declaration of state of emergency or calamity.

“Instituting acceleratory measures consider the health, safety and economic repercussions on students, parents, and teachers alike during emergencies or calamities. COVID-19 pandemic will surely not be the last. We will encounter unprecedented circumstances in the future, but we cannot allow the educational progress of our students to be uncertain every time,” Cabochan stressed.

On Friday, DepEd has announced the deferment of the opening classes following calls for postponement from stakeholders.

“The deferment of the opening of classes would give the schools, teachers, students and parents the ample time to prepare. On the other hand, this also proves that there are indeed constraints in proceeding with the school year. We hope to encourage more students to enroll in the coming days, but there will still be students who may be unable to do so. We have to reach out to them and provide viable options, such as qualifying exams for acceleration, to ensure the educational progress of all students,” Cabochan ended.

DepEd said in the same Senate inquiry that they are already looking into providing other learning opportunities and the possibility of promoting non-enrollees to the next grade level.