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Gatchalian pushes creation of public school database

SEN. Sherwin T.  Gatchalian is pressing timely passage by Congress of an enabling law creating a National Public School Database to “promote an easier and seamless access to education for the public through a streamlined enrollment process.”

As provided in Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 478 to be known as the Public School Database Act, the Department of Education (DepEd) is mandated to develop, operate, and maintain a National Public School Database that contains learner information that will “include, but not limited to, school grades, personal data, good moral record, and improvement tracking.”

In filing the remedial legislation, Gatchalian noted that physical documents are easily damaged and lost due to fragile storage, flood, fire, and other disasters.

“By storing learners’ school records in a database,” the senator envisions  “important documents are preserved and become easily accessible to help with assessment, planning, and setting of operational targets.”

The lawmaker affirmed that under the proposed remedial measure, school administrators shall be given access to the National Public School Database containing learner records and other learner specific data, including exam scores, grade levels, attendance, and immunization records.

He added that “this is to help with the recording of biographical data” for all learners, handling admissions and discharges, and the transfer of learners to other schools.

At the same time, the Gatchalian bill also provides for “a Database Information Program to train education professionals in the development and maintenance of the information in the National Public School Database.”

The senator likewise affirmed that DepEd is further mandated to ensure the security and confidentiality of the information contained in the National Public School Database.

The Gatchalian bill also provides that access to and the processing of information in the database shall be in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

“The National Public School Database will serve as a mechanism to provide timely, relevant, and accurate information to school heads and teachers that will help them perform their administrative tasks more efficiently,” Gatchalian pointed out in the bill’s explanatory note.

To uphold the safety and well-being of children amid their exposure to new technologies, Gatchalian is also seeking to expand the powers and functions of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to include regulation of video and online games.

Gatchalian made this proposal in Senate Bill 1063 or the Video and Online Games and Outdoor Media Regulation Act, which seeks to amend Presidential Decree 1986 that created the MTRCB.

“Habang patuloy na nagbabago at lumalawak ang paggamit natin sa teknolohiya, dapat din nating tiyakin na nabibigyan ng kaukulang proteksyon at paggabay ang ating mga kabataan, lalo na mula sa mga hindi magagandang impluwensya at epektong maaaring idulot ng mga teknolohiyang ito (As we continue to embrace new technology, we should make sure to give our children with proper protection and guidance, especially from the influence and effect of this technology),” Gatchalian said in a news release.

The 2020 gaming statistics reveal that 43 million gamers drove the unprecedented rise in the Philippine gaming industry and across Southeast Asia. With PNA

Image credits: PNA



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