Zero literacy pushed

January 29, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 77 views

FOLLOWING reports of low literacy rates among learners in different parts of the country, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing for a proposed measure that will mobilize local government units (LGUs) to achieve zero illiteracy.

In an education summit recently held in Baguio City, it was revealed that only four out of 10 kids in Grades 4 to 7 aged 9 to 12 can properly read or write in English. This is based on the results of pretests and post-tests done from 2021 to 2022. The same tests revealed that less than half of learners from Grades 3 to 7 in the city aged 8 to 9 could read or write in Filipino.

In Cagayan, a survey recently posted on its official website, revealed that 12.72% or 29,529 out of 231,667 learners enrolled in public schools cannot read. The 2017-2018 Early Language, Literacy, and Numeracy Assessment (ELLNA) also revealed that the literacy rate in the province is 49.52%.

Gatchalian has been pushing for the National Literacy Council Act (Senate Bill No. 473) which will assign Local School Boards (LSBs) as de facto local literacy councils. The proposed measure seeks to strengthen the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC), which will continue to serve as the lead inter-agency coordinating and advisory body on the formulation and implementation of measures to accelerate the universalization of literacy. The LCC was established by Republic Act No. 7165, as amended.

Under the proposed measure, the strengthened LCC is mandated to formulate a three-year roadmap on achieving illiteracy in communities. LSBs, on the other hand, will be mandated to formulate a local roadmap based on the Council’s three-year roadmap.

Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong emphasized the community’s role to assist the children of Baguio who have difficulty reading and writing in English while Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba has issued Executive Order No. 1 directing local executives to support the Department of Education’s (DepEd) learning recovery plans.

“Ang isang batang hindi marunong bumasa ay problema ng buong bansa. Sa pagsugpo natin ng illiteracy, mahalaga ang papel ng ating mga lokal na mga komunidad. Kaya naman palalawigin natin ang papel ng ating mga Local School Boards sa pagpapatupad ng mga programa upang matiyak na bawat bata ay matutong bumasa at umintindi ng kanilang binabasa,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.