By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian emphasized the need for initiatives and plans to raise the reading competency of Filipino students during the opening of the National Book Week, which is annually observed from November 24–30.
“Ang pagbabasa ay isa sa mga pundasyon na dapat nating pagtibayin sa ating mga kabataan at mag-aaral. Ngayon natin higit na kinakailangang tutukan ang kanilang pagbabasa lalo na’t pinalala ng pandemya ang problema sa ating sektor ng edukasyon,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian recalled that worldwide, large-scale examinations demonstrate that the country’s learners are already having difficulty attaining the minimum required competency in reading even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
In the 79 participating nations, the Philippines had the lowest reading score in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
According to PISA results, barely one in five 15-year-old Filipino students met the overall reading literacy competence threshold.
Results of the 2019 Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM), on the other hand, show that only 10% of the country’s Grade 5 learners achieved the minimum proficiency at the end of primary education.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education also pointed out that the lack of face-to-face classes during the pandemic has resulted in learning loss.
Gatchalian is also proposing to officially declare November as the National Reading Month.
In Senate Bill No. 475, Gatchalian proposes that the National Reading Month be celebrated through the conduct of nationwide reading programs and activities, which will inculcate a culture of reading among basic education learners and their communities.