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DepEd to implement 'catch up day' for reading

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) – Public schools are set to allot one day per week for students to practice reading and improve their critical thinking skills.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte said the Department of Education (DepEd) is coming up with a policy to implement “catch up Fridays” beginning January 2024 to address Filipino students’ poor performance in international assessments, particularly in reading comprehension.

Ibig sabihin, walang gagawin kundi turuan ang mga bata magbasa at iyong mga marunong na magbasa, ituro sa kanila ang critical thinking at analysis, pasulatin ng libro, essay,” Duterte said during her speech at a national reading month event on Tuesday.

[Translation: It means, the day is allotted to teach students how to read, and those who know how to read will be taught critical thinking, analysis, writing book reviews, and essays.]

Students will also take up other activities such as subjects relating to health, values, and peace education.

The education chief said she is not expecting Filipino students to get high scores in the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The results are set to be released next month.

Guidelines on catch up day will be issued next month for the planned implementation on January 12, 2024.

Sabi ko hindi puede na kung ano ang ginagawa natin ngayon, iyon pa rin ang gagawin paulit-ulit kasi nakita natin naka-dalawang PISA na tayo at hindi pa rin maganda ang assessment, ang scores ng mga bata. Ibig sabihin, we need to innovate,” Duterte said.

[Translation: I said it is not possible that we are still doing the things we have done before because we have witnessed the results of the two PISA assessments.]

The Education Secretary led the celebration of the National Reading Month at the Esteban Abada Elementary School in Quezon City, where she launched a book she wrote titled “Isang Kaibigan.”

She appealed to teachers, parents, and guardians to encourage children to read as it enhances their imagination and vocabulary.