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70,000 Bicolano children have poor reading skills, diagnostic test reveals

Reading is a basic skill that people learn in school—or from their parents—at a very young age. But a recent assessment shows that 70,000 elementary students from the Bicol region have poor reading skills. Some were even categorized as “non-readers.”

This number is being disputed by Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan. He says the data do not reflect the true number of children who can’t read, as out of these 70,000 students, 52,000 come from Grades 1 and 2, and the rest (around 18,000) are in Grades 3 to 6

According to Malaluan, the test used for the Grade 1 and 2 students was designed for pupils in Grades 3 to 6. He also adds that a standardized test for Grade 1 and 2 students is yet to be developed—which is why, as of now, the department has no available means to assess these pupils’ reading capabilities.


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Despite Malaluan’s statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition Chairperson Benjo Basas says the number is still alarming. “Medyo alarming and at the same time, nakakagulat,” he says in an interview with ABS-CBN News. “Statistically, pwede natin sabihing maliit, pero sabi ko nga, 10, 20, or 100 estudyante na umabot ng Grade 6 na hindi nakakabasa, that would be a cause for alarm.”

So how do we instill the value of reading to kids? My Pope lists two organizations that help develop children’s reading skills. 


The Learning Library

Image result for learning library philippines
Photo source: learning library philippines

The Learning Library “aims to develop the love of reading and appreciation of the Filipino language among children.” They have various programs for children of different ages and reading skills, and also offer English and Filipino programs to assist children in improving their comprehension skills. The Learning Library employs teachers who are experts, experienced, and committed to improving Philippine Education. 

The Learning Library has branches all around the metro such as Alabang, Makati City, Bonifacio Global City, and New Manila. They also have a branch in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. You may contact them at 0917 828 2669 or +632 8294 8081.


The Reading House

Photo source: Canvas

The Reading House (TRS) specializes in early reading literacy and is open to anyone whose primary spoken or written language isn’t English. Their copyrighted program, Phono-Graphics Reading Program (PGRP), focuses on listening and comprehension skills, and encourages early foundation of these skills. Different teaching techniques and materials are used by TRS to ensure that all children, no matter what learning style they prefer, develop good reading skills at a young age. 

The Reading House is located in Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City. You may contact their office at 0917 100 5252 or +632 7358 3337.




Text by Katie Rojas. 

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