PASAY CITY, November 26, 2019 — In a move to bridge literacy gaps among learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) is intensifying its campaign on reading proficiency with the unveiling of Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3Bs) initiative on November 25 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said that improving reading programs will be a priority as the Department, led by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, starts to focus on globalizing the quality of basic education in the Philippines.
“Ito ang pinakauna natin dapat gawin, kasi we can never pursue quality education if the kids do not know how to read. This is the basic tool for lifelong learning. We will never expect a Filipino or any human being to continue to learn without actually being equipped with the fundamental reading skill,” Usec. San Antonio explained.
With previous national assessments revealing that learners still need improvement in literacy skills, DepEd’s 3Bs initiative encourages offices from central to division level and schools to intensify their advocacies for reading to make every learner a reader at their grade level and capacitate teachers to become effective reading instructors, according to DepEd Memorandum No. 173, s2019.
“Ayusin na muna natin ang pagbabasa ng ating mga mag-aaral and the rest will follow,” San Antonio added.
Anchored on a number of researches, the 3Bs initiative is grounded on the needs of the learners and will develop succeeding interventions for them to acquire reading and comprehension skills. The initiative also recommends six elements of reading (oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension) that learners must understand and be able to use in combination to learn how to read.
“Reading is very important kaya kailangan magtulong-tulong tayong lahat para makapagbasa ang mga bata,” San Antonio said.
Interventions to attain quality education
Before the launch of 3Bs initiative, education leaders in all regions of the country gathered in a forum to discuss DepEd’s plan in shifting its focus to quality education.
Titled ‘Consultative Forum on Curriculum and Instruction’s Issues and Concerns’, DepEd regional directors presented the challenges in their respective regions and the recommended interventions needed to attain quality education.
“We feel there’s a need for top officials from DepEd regional offices to understand that we are serious about this and we are happy that the response of the field was overwhelming,” San Antonio said.