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DepEd sets Fridays as ‘reading day’ for schools next year

VICE President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte yesterday announced that starting January next year, every Friday will be a “catch-up” day in schools to give students the time to read books that interest them.

Duterte made the announcement when she spoke before the culmination of the National Reading Month Celebration at the Esteban Abada Elementary School in Quezon City.

“We will have a catch-up Fridays for reading, health, values, and peace education. All public schools are mandated to ensure that reading is their priority every Friday starting January 12, 2024,” she said.

She added that during catch-up Fridays, students from kindergarten to Grade 12 shall devote time to reading books and other reading materials based on their interests.

They will be later tasked by their teachers to write essays, analysis and reviews of the books and other materials they have read.

“We need a day where we have to catch up on where we want our children to be. We should stop repeatedly doing things that do not result in marked improvement in our learners,” she said, adding the reading program is also part of the learning recovery plan of DepEd to enable students to catch up and improve their comprehension due to the learning gap induced by the COVID-19 pandemic which physically closed schools in the country.

“We will do nothing else but teach our kids how to read, and for those who already know how to read, we should teach them critical thinking and analysis. Everything that we need to do to teach our kids, let’s do that on catch-up Fridays,” she said.

Duterte said the program is part of the overall Matatag Agenda of the DepEd to improve the quality of basic education in the country and will last until the end of the Marcos administration in 2028.

“(We should make sure that every Filipino child will be able to complete his or her schooling because education is the key to their good future,” she said.

Asked if teachers will have to move Friday’s subjects and lessons to accommodate the program, Duterte said the DepEd’s Curriculum and Teaching Strand is now working on the program to include all the subjects in the four days from Monday to Thursday and then allot the Fridays to