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DepEd taps volunteer teachers to help Bicol kids struggling with reading, math

By Marlon Atun

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Education (DepEd) Region 5 has partnered with teacher education institutions (TEIs) to address the low rate of reading comprehension and numeracy among learners in the Bicol region.

The initiative, dubbed “Project 6Bs” or “Bawat Batang Bicolano Bihasang Bumasa at Bumilang,” aims to provide volunteer teachers who will serve as tutors to learners who are struggling with reading and numeracy.

Under the memorandum of agreement (MOA), TEIs will help DepEd 5 by providing the needed volunteer teachers, while DepEd 5 shall provide technical assistance through the assigned teachers as coordinators who will provide the learners in need of the interventions.

The MOA is based on volunteerism under RA 9418, an act institutionalizing rural development, strengthening volunteerism, and for other purposes, and the Bayanihan spirit that fosters social justice, solidarity, and sustainable development. It is also anchored in the provisions of Republic Act 8525 or the Adopt-A-School Act of 1998.

The project is incorporated in DepEd’s regional education development plan for 2023 to 2028 as a strategic priority for quality teaching and learning and enabling environment and governance, capitalizing on partnership engagement of key stakeholders for improving literacy and numeracy.

According to DepEd Region 5, many learners were struggling in reading and comprehension even before the pandemic, and the circumstances during the height of the pandemic have aggravated the problem.

The World Bank record in 2021 showed that the percentage of learners up to the age of 10 who are not able to read and understand a simple text increased from about 53 percent to approximately 63 percent since the beginning of the pandemic.

The initiative will not only cater to grades 1-3 but will also be expanded to grades 4, 5, and 6 and even to secondary students. The DepEd 5 will coordinate with the TEIs and provide information on the areas with a high number of struggling learners in literacy and numeracy.

This collaboration is in line with the whole government approach with the community to address the low level of literacy and numeracy among elementary learners. The project’s 8-week curriculum will end this November 2023, and to continue the intervention for the learners, the project 6Bs shall come to reality with the partners’ stakeholders.

Dr. Nita Morallo, the interim president of Goa Community College, said as a stakeholder of Project 6Bs, the school’s administration is committed to supporting, implementing, and continuing the project, which the school has already started in the local community.

Overall, this project is a significant initiative that aims to improve the reading comprehension and numeracy skills of learners in Bicol region, ensuring that they receive proper education and support to achieve their full potential. (PIA 5)


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