Non-readers a growing population
(The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2019 - 12:00am

When Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced the conduct of a review of the textbooks and learning materials of the K-12 curriculum in August of last year amidst the backlash caused by the discovery of the shocking misspelling of “Banaue Rice Terraces” into “Banana Rice Tereces”  in the Grade 7 “MAPEH in Action” textbook, she explained that the agency can no longer wait for the press and the public to point out more errors in the materials. 

Ironically, the concern of intermediate and high school non-readers has far more direr consequences on the effort to educate our youth than the thoughtless textbook and learning material production and procurement process of the government’s education arm. Even after at least four DepEd regional offices admitted to the existence of intermediate and high school non-readers in their schools through issuances posted in their websites in 2018, the national DepEd continues to ignore the problem.    

Meantime, the media has started to pay closer attention to the problem the latest instance of which is the March 18 episode of the “Bawal ang Pasaway”  news commentary and analysis  program over the GMA network titled “Kalidad ng edukasyon sa Pilipinas, lumalala ba?” where host Winnie Monsod had declared a reading crisis  exists in the country.

With media exposure and personal encounters with non-readers or slow readers in the intermediate and high school widening awareness of the problem, it is only a matter of time before the crisis will explode on the face of the DepEd and the country. There simply is no way to keep the lid forever on the absurd reality of illiterate high school students considering that in the not so distant past, cases of non-readers in Grade 2 were very rare. 

It is therefore fervently hoped that DepEd officials specially those involved in the scrapping of the “No Read, No Move” policy for Grade 1 which has brought upon us this unprecedented educational nightmare will come to their senses  and do the right thing soonest for the sake of our children. – Estanislao C. Albano Jr.

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