DepEd RD Sadsad to focus on non-readers problem

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—A considerable number of students in Bicol cannot read, lack numeracy skills, and have poor comprehension and retention, DepEd Bicol Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad told the Bicol Standard.

Sadsad said this issue was brought to his attention at the recent 2019 Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Forum in Daet, Camarines Norte.

He, however, noted that the report has to be re-validated because he was not informed of the tool that was used to reach said conclusion.

“The appropriate tool to use is Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), but I am not aware if this was what they used in coming up with the observations,” he said.

“As early as next week, I will order the re-validation. I will give them one month to conduct the re-validation, especially for Camarines Sur, which is a large division,” he explained.

Sadsad then offered his personal take on why there could possibly be many non-readers.

“One factor is the disruption of classes. We are unable to complete the optimal 180 teaching days for every school year,” he noted.

“We also lack instructional materials. Further, there are some classes that are just too big that teachers find difficulty in attending to the needs of every student,” he said.

“Another factor is the attitude of teachers. Some of them lack commitment and frequently complain that they have too much workload. What I did was to take out the burdensome lesson plan preparation, which teachers say consumes too much time. With this removal, I expect that they can focus on teaching,” he further stated.

He recalled that even when he was still a school principal, he had already noticed that there were plenty of non-readers.

“What I did was to segregate them, and organized a special group of teachers, including myself, to devote extra time and effort in tutorial sessions,” he narrated.

Meantime, he also revealed that the Regional Office is set to launch an innovative program called Brigada Basa, whose primordial objective is to address the problem of non-readers.

“As of now, we are still in the process of formulating this program,” he concluded.