(PNA File photo)

MANILA - Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is looking forward to a huge development in the education sector after the measure that seeks to create the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) recently lapsed into law.

Republic Act (RA) 11899, which Gatchalian sponsored during the 18th Congress, creates the EDCOM II to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the Philippine education sector's performance.

Gatchalian said it includes provisions that state how the mandates are observed under the laws that created the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

"This national assessment will recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to make the Philippines globally competitive in both education and labor markets. It will also recommend specific, targeted, and timebound solutions to enable education agencies to improve their performance vis-à-vis measurable indicators and deliver accessible, inclusive and quality education that is at par with world standards," the lawmaker said in a statement.

As the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Gatchalian will act as one of the commission’s co-chairpersons who will ensure that the panel will be focused and productive, especially in identifying the challenges hounding the education sector and proposing the necessary reforms.

“Napapanahon na ang pagtatatag ng EDCOM II upang wakasan ang krisis sa sektor at tiyakin na natatanggap ng ating mga mag-aaral ang dekalidad na edukasyon. Titiyakin nating ang Komisyon ay magdudulot ng mga mahahalagang repormang mag-aangat sa kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa, at tiyaking handa ang ating mga mag-aaral na makipagsabayan sa ibang bansa (Creating the EDCOM II is just in time to end the crisis in the sector and ensure that our students are receiving quality education. We will also ensure that the Commission will bring relevant reforms that will uplift the quality of education in the country, and ensure that our students are ready to keep up with other countries),” he said.

Gatchalian cited a report by the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank saying that learning poverty in the Philippines is now at 90.5%.

This means, he said, that nine in every 10 Filipinos aged 10 years old are needed to be taught how to read and to develop their reading comprehension. (PNA)