The benefits of the early language, literacy and numeracy program

by Allan C. Ronquillo
Tabion Elementary School

In DepEd Order No. 12, Series of 2015, the Department recognizes that the foundation of learning is in a child's early language, literacy, and numeracy skills. These skills, according to DepEd, do not develop naturally, and thus require careful planning and instruction. There is thus, a need, for children to have access to age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive materials to help them develop the habits of reading, speaking, writing, and counting.

Under the K to 12 Basic Education Program, DepEd recommends strengthening these skills via the following strategy: first is to establish baseline data on the profile of the teachers and pupils; second is to develop materials; third is to develop classroom-based (formative) assessment protocol for literary and numeracy skills; and fourth is to develop professionally teachers and school heads.

From such strategy, it is easy to see that the children stand to gain the most from the program. By taking into consideration their profile, the existing functional program, and support mechanisms, DepEd is able to better understand and later address their needs. It is important to remember that a child's strong language, literacy, and numeracy skills form the base of his or her being a lifelong learner. It is on these skills that more intermediate ones will depend. When these skills are not developed early on, it is easy for the child to falter with more difficult tasks, and in turn fail at the ones society needs them to accomplish.

Teachers and school heads, however, also benefit a lot from the strengthening of such program. This is because when the children's needs are addressed, classroom management and teaching becomes easier, not just at the lower levels, but also at the higher ones.

The professional development that the program affords teachers and school heads also allows them to better their skills. This is through the program's contribution of enhanced pedagogical knowledge, skills and attitudes on early literacy and numeracy, improved ability to assess learner's literacy and numeracy skills, and sustained commitment in mentoring/sharing of teaching experiences to improve instruction and outcomes which all allow them to serve the learners more effectively and efficiently.

Also standing to gain is the community, which benefits from having citizens who are not only readers by Grade 1, but also are committed to learning throughout their lives.

I strongly urge the members of the community to support the early language, literacy, and numeracy program for the benefits that it provides the pupils, the educators, and the community itself. We owe it to ourselves to improve the skills of our learners and teachers, and by doing so, improve our nation. There is no better time to start than today.