4,865 Grade 2 pupils to get tutored in reading

4,865 Grade 2 pupils to get tutored in reading
Photo by Joshua Usigan, BiPSU intern

CLOSE to 5,000 struggling learners and non-readers from Cebu City will be part of the tutoring program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

On Friday, March 8, 2024, the Cebu City Government, Cebu Normal University (CNU), and DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the “Tara, Basa!” tutoring program.

The program employs students from state universities to tutor elementary pupils who are struggling to read and learn.

Its aims are to reduce illiteracy, help college students who are facing financial difficulty earn a wage, empower parents to become their children’s first teachers at home, and transform the educational experience.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian told members of the press that the pilot program was launched in the National Capital Region where junior and senior college students were enlisted as private tutors.

Here in Cebu City, students from CNU will tutor 4,865 Grade 2 pupils from 67 public elementary schools chosen by the Department of Education (DepEd) 7.

The program will start after the academic year during the summer break. Pupils will be tutored two hours every day for 20 days.

“Tara, Basa!” is a cash-for-work program. Tutors will be paid minimum wage for each day they tutor.

“It will be driven by DepEd because they have the data on who are the struggling non-readers and frustrated readers,” said Gatchalian.

A total of 584 CNU students enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Education were involved in the kick-off of the program.

Of the number, 487 will serve as tutors, teaching reading to 4,865 pupils, or a ratio of one tutor for every 10 pupils. The other 97 will serve as youth development workers (YDW), facilitating sessions for parents of tutored pupils, or a ratio of one YDW for every 50 parents.

Dr. Daniel Ariaso Sr., CNU president, said the “Tara, Basa!” program will serve as part of the education students’ internship.

“This is a practical application of what they have learned, and then we are going to do localization, where they come from. They are going to be deployed there to foster love of their town, of their barangay,” he said in a mix of Tagalog and English.

DSWD 7 Director Shalaine Lucero said the program targets incoming Grade 2 who have difficulty reading or cannot read at all.

Gatchalian did not say how much budget was allocated for the program in Cebu City, but the budget allocation for the entire country is around P900 million.

He said the criteria for choosing the location for the program is based on the recommendations of DepEd and the request of local leaders.

For the case of Cebu City, the DSWD was approached by South District Rep. Eduardo “Edu” Rama Jr.

“In this case, si Congressman Edu Rama approached us and told us (that) maybe the program is a good fit in the terrain of Cebu,” Gatchalian said. (RJM / Joshua Usigan, BiPSU intern)


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