Sunday, 24 January 2021

“I Read at Night”

MAASIM, Sarangani (March 17, 2019) - From a simple gesture of teaching kids how to read, teachers at Datal Basak IP Integrated School have made reading tutorial a nightly habit.

This has led to the “I Read at Night Program” which Sulong Karunungan program manager Marife Gomez said Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon also wanted to replicate in other remote areas in the province.

The school is located at Barangay Kablacan in Maasim, 33 kilometers away from the town proper and now less than a two-hour ride with the road concreting by the provincial government in progress.

But the tutorial is done in the teachers’ cottage, just a few steps away from the classroom, relying merely on solar lantern because Datal Basak has no electricity. The Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc., donated 60 lanterns last year.

Gomez said “I Read at Night” started when kids would go to the cottage and since teachers had nothing else to do, would start tutoring them on reading. Until it became part of their routine and more kids would join.

There are tutees now who have become tutors of the younger ones and sometimes parents would also join teaching, Gomez said.

Now, Datal Basak got another 119 solar lanterns from the Latter Day Saints (LDS), Sarangani’s partner in promoting quality education, last December.

Datal Basak IP Integrated School will also be among the 300 school recipients of the 6,000 copies of flashcard tutoring aids and 130 laminating machines that LDS will be distributing this year.

In a report from the Governor’s Commission on Education, it said that “testimonies of teachers reveal that poor reading skills are a large factor. Students who cannot read by Grade 3 find it nearly impossible to function in subsequent grades, and many leave in frustration.”

In 2015, the commission outlined peer tutoring program for the Department of Education in Sarangani wherein high performing students in upper grade levels could be tapped as volunteer reading mentors of struggling students in Grades 1-3 or those unable to cope with the normal classroom teaching.

When DepEd Sarangani piloted the program in school-year 2014-2015 in 20 schools in the province, the commission said “it was quickly praised by teachers for its success in remediating struggling students and retaining them in school.”

According to the commission, “in that school year, 708 volunteer tutors assisted 2,125 young students. In school year 2016-2017, 4,348 volunteer tutors tutored 10,096 struggling students. In the early weeks of 2018-2019, those numbers jumped to 7,704 and 12,104 respectively, in response to the Superintendent’s directive to deploy peer tutoring in all of the division’s public schools.”

Based on the data that DepEd Sarangani furnished to the commission, on the average, “the tutoring program has reduced struggling readers by 43% and non-readers by 54%” from 2014-2018.

Gomez said the Latter Day Saints has made Sarangani’s school-based tutoring program as proof of concept which they will introduce to all the schools in the country that they will partner in reading program.

Last November 2018, LDS had brought with them individuals from Naga, Quezon and Zamboanga to learn about Sarangani’s success story on peer tutoring. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS)

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