Improving students’ reading skills forms the focus of the education action plan of the Valenzuela City local government.
In his State of Education Address on Tuesday, January 28, at the Malinta Elementary School, City Mayor REX Gatchalian presented the local government’s strategies to bolster basic education in the city.
Titled “The Valenzuela City Education Action Plan 2014,” the three-year plan includes curriculum upgrade, additional training for teachers, compulsory parenting classes, expanded feeding program, and construction of more school buildings with state-of-the-art facilities.
Mayor REX said that the city government’s focus on reading is based on results of National Achievement Test (NAT) and Philippine Informal Reading Institute (PHIL IRI) Test.
“The [Valenzuela City elementary and high school students’] performances in the NAT from 2010 to 2012 are erratic and inconsistent,” the local chief executive said, addressing Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, city government officials, teachers and students.
Mayor Rex pointed out that 83 percent of Valenzuela City elementary students are “frustrated readers,” or those who find it difficult to recognize words and understand texts.
Non-readers, or those who cannot read at all, form 11 per cent, while independent readers, or those who can read without guidance by a teacher, are composed of a meager 1 percent.
Future implementation of the intensive reading program shall consist of after-school reading lessons, summer reading classes and home-based reading sessions with parents.
“We will train parents how to effectively guide their children through reading lessons, and provide them with teaching materials,” Mayor Rex said.
Sec. Luistro lauded the local government for the plan of crafting a holistic intervention program for poor readers.
“If we could inspire in our students the idea that reading is fun, then the nation’s educational performance can achieve bigger leaps,” Sec. Luistro said.
Prior to Mayor REX’s speech presentation, the city government held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Valenzuela Math and Science High School (VMSHS), which will be built across Malinta Elementary School.
Mayor Rex said the VMSHS will be the “crown jewel” of the city’s educational system with its sophisticated teaching tools and facilities.
The proposed three-storey VMHS building has a floor area of 1,776.78 square meters and eight laboratories: Math, General Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Robotics, Computer and Speech.
The VMSHS curriculum is expected to be the best in the country, Mayor REX said.
The 2014 Valenzuela Educational Action Plan can be downloaded here