The municipal government of Bataraza is planning to put up special education centers for learners with special needs to strengthen educational programs halted by the pandemic.

Sangguniang Bayan member Laurence Amores said that it was one of the concerns discussed after the school board meeting with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the LGU about the effect of the pandemic on the sector of education.

The town aims to construct a learning center in District 1 before the year ends, he added.

“This year sana ay i-start na ‘yong mga learning center for children with special needs. As heard from the national news na parang hindi naisama ng DepEd na ma-budget’n. Suportado niya ‘yong measure na magkaroon kami at least step by step lang din. Dito sa District 1, makapag-establish kami ng isang center for those with special needs,” he said.

Amores noted that the LGU is also considering connecting with consultants to assess the impact of the pandemic on learners with special needs.

It will also help them provide the appropriate intervention and address the immediate concern.

“Hindi naman sya ganon kataas pero like any other LGU, concern din talaga– Gusto rin tugunan ng local government ng Bataraza ang concern na iyan para ma-address at hindi na natin kailangan mag-antay na dumami sila. Para ‘yong tamang education ay makuha nila kasi hindi naman sasapat kung papaano natin i-deliver sa normal na learning process. Syempre sa kanila ay iba,” he said.

The LGU also wants to focus on the literacy of the students, acknowledging that the absence of face-to-face classes contributed to the decrease in the reading ability of learners. He said that literacy should start at the primary levels of learners.

“Isa rin ‘yong sa literacy, progress ng reading ability ng mga bata. For two years, walang in person na mode of delivery ng learning, iyon ang gusto natin i-address. Iyan is also a national issue, reading ability ng mga bata, bumaba because of that– Malaki rin ang nawala sa mga bata, kailangan natin magdoble effort,” he added.

In response to the concern, Mayor Abraham Ibba approved getting additional teaching staff for Districts 1 and 2 to only focus on improving the literacy level of the students.

“Hindi naman siya alarming pero compared sa previous years ay may pagtaas talaga. With this intervention na kukuha tayo, mag-a-add tayo ng personnel, iyon ang nakikita natin to address this,” he said.

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