By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — As families continue to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Win Gatchalian bats for institutionalizing the Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) program to help parents meet the learning needs of their children and provide them with socio-emotional support.
Senate Bill No. 1985 or the Parent Effectiveness Service (PES) Program Act aims to capacitate and empower parents and parent-substitutes to provide quality care during the critical stages of learners’ development. Under the proposed measure, the PES program will consist of parent effectiveness sessions in every barangay.
The program, which will be facilitated by psychologists, other health professionals, social workers, and paraprofessionals, will provide modules on the roles and needs of parents and parent-substitutes, child development, home management, building the child’s positive behavior, and keeping a healthy environment, among others.
A recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed that 89 percent of families with enrolled school-age members (5-20) find the ‘blended learning system’ more difficult than traditional face-to-face classes.
The same survey said that 60 percent of families spend more time teaching their children, with mothers commonly helping children with their lessons.
Gatchalian also emphasized that since children are more vulnerable to mental health issues after a yearlong school shutdown and home confinement while the remote learning setup poses a challenge to their access to psychosocial support, he said that parents have to step up to support the learners, making them more prone to exhaustion.
The lawmaker recalled that some parents were reported to resort to “sagot-for-sale” scheme, where they hired someone else to work on their children’s modules.
“Bagama’t mahalaga ang papel ng ating mga magulang sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon at sa pangangalaga sa mental health ng mga kabataan sa panahon ng pandemya, hindi naman maaaring ipasa natin sa kanila ang lahat ng gawain, lalo na’t marami sa kanila ang naghahanapbuhay din at nakakaranas ng pagod,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture. (AI|MTVN)