The schools division of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Puerto Princesa will launch its “Batang Puerto Bumabasa” program on Friday, November 27.

Glenda A. Almeniana, city DepEd education program supervisor-English, division reading coordinator, and overall chairperson along with Luis R. Mationg, EPS-Filipino, said that the city division hopes all learners, across all levels and learning areas, would cultivate a love for reading.

“We want all our learners to read. Every child should be a reader at their own level,” she said.

The program is the result of DepEd Memorandum No. 173, s. 2019 dated November 22, 2019, from DepEd-Central Office, entitled “Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3Bs Initiative).”

This initiative aims to make every learner a proficient reader. It is also intended to develop reading skills in learning areas that have low achievement levels based on national assessments conducted by the DepEd.

Section 2 (b) of the aforementioned memorandum states that “Low achievements levels in English, Math, and Science appear to be caused by gaps in learners’ reading comprehension”.

Almeniana stated that the results of these assessments motivated them to conduct and contextualize programs like “Batang Puerto Bumabasa” to further strengthen the DepEd Memo in the city schools division level.

The program launching will be held virtually via Facebook live and hosted by DepEd Tayo Puerto Princesa’s official Facebook page at 8:00 am on Friday.

This will be coinciding with the National “Araw ng Pagbasa Day”, a regular working holiday, pursuant to Republic Act No. 10556.

Commencing the virtual program will be a multimedia presentation and storytelling of children’s books authored by public school teachers of Puerto Princesa, to be followed by messages of key officials in the division, and another set of storytelling by students from different schools featuring books written by local authors.

The launching ceremony will also showcase the best practices of various elementary and secondary schools in the city in terms of developing the culture of reading to the students.

On the other hand, Gemma B. Arguelles, Principal III of Puerto Princesa Pilot Elementary School (PPPES), one of the biggest schools in the city, magnified their commitment to the intent of the program.

“This program is significant for Batang Puerto Princesa because reading is a tool in all learning areas which help the children read, comprehend, and understand everything around them,” she explained.

Arguelles is also looking forward to the bench-marking and implementation of best practices for the adoption of other schools.

Teresa A. Schierbeek, the PPPES reading coordinator, said that although it is a challenging time, they are committed to applying appropriate teaching strategies to help every learner, especially those who are at risk in reading, become a reader. These strategies include supplementing the students with ample activities and materials that they can always read even in a distance-learning set-up.

Meanwhile, the city schools division is also appealing to individuals and community organizations to also partake in this program.

“We are inviting our stakeholders to join us in this endeavor. Kung sino ‘yong mga gustong tumulong na mapaunlad ang reading program sa mga schools, they are all welcome and we appreciate them very much,” Almeniana said.