A SENATOR has filed a bill that seeks to give struggling learners access to a free remedial program that will help address the negative impact of the prolonged school closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.   

Senate Bill No. 2355 or the Academic Recovery and Accessible Learning (ARAL) Program, filed by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, aims to provide nutritional, social, emotional, and mental health support to affected students in grades 1 to 10.  

The target beneficiaries are those who were unable to enroll in schoolyear 2020-2021 and those lagging academically.  

“Through the ARAL program that we are promoting, we can avoid the students’ delay in knowledge and help them catch up with their studies. This will be part of the rise of the education sector from the damage caused by the pandemic,” Mr. Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said in Filipino in a statement.   

The Department of Education (DepEd), in collaboration with local government units, will implement the program.   

The proposed measure will also mandate public telecommunication entities to provide learners and tutors free access to the DepEd’s online educational platforms, digital libraries, and other online knowledge hubs. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan