Manila, Philippines — In memory of the birth anniversary of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy’’ Aquino, Rep. Leni Robredo will read stories to elementary students of the Balara Elementary School in Quezon City as part of activities for today’s “Araw ng Pagbasa.”
The “Araw ng Pagbasa’’ is held every 27th of November by virtue of a law signed by President Aquino which aims to promote reading as a tool of learning and a channel of hope for the millions of pupils and students in the country.
Republic Act (RA) 10556 designates November 27 of each year as the national reading day which aims to raise the awareness of schoolchildren on Philippine history, culture and heritage through reading.
Aside from Robredo, other television and showbiz personalities will also take turns reading stories to the students today at the Balara school.
Last year, President Aquino was the guest story teller, reading the story “Halu-halu Espesyal’’ written by Yvette Fernandez at the T. Alonzo Elementary School.
The “Araw ng Pagbasa’’was initiated by Quezon City Rep. Jorge “Bolet’’ Banal in 2008 to vigorous public support. With the help of various sectors and volunteers, the “Araw ng Pagbasa’’ has since been held in 142 public schools, six private schools, seven day care centers, 18 public school libraries and several communities in and out of Metro Manila.
Simultaneous story-telling sessions were held in both private and public schools last year with the move to promote the literacy campaign gaining ground as far as Davao City in the south and Tagudin City in Ilocos Sur.
In an interview, Banal said that education and the basic knowledge of reading especially among the poor is a great equalizer for the underprivileged to compete academically with their more affluent counterparts.
By regularly conducting reading activities in the city’s public schools, Banal hopes to bridge the gap between the academic capability of students enrolled in the private and public schools.
By enhancing the children’s reading skills, students in the public schools have their works cut out for them as their improved comprehensive prowess eases whatever difficulty they may encounter in their academic lives in public schools.
A group of educators earlier pointed out the need to improve the basic reading skills of Filipino students after they donated “English Reading Kits” that will help students attain basic reading skills and inculcate reading habits among them.
Last year, Makabayan Herald Publishing donated “English Reading Kits” for Grade 1 students of the Teodora Alonzo Elementary School in Project 4, Quezon City, in support of the initiative of the Aquino administration to achieve universal literacy in the Philippines.
The project is also supported by the Ateneo De Manila University which will provide teachers who will train the students on how to use the reading kits.
“We may have one of the highest literacy rates in Asia, but the small percentage of Filipinos who do not know how to read still translates to about 2 million Filipinos. In our experiences with students throughout the Philippines, we have learned that the problem is in our fundamentals,” Pop Encarnacion, editor of Makabayan Herald Publishing said.
“That’s why we’re donating to the public schools so that we can fix this problem of illiteracy from its root cause, which is the inability to read,” he added.
The reading kits were used by the students in the beneficiary school to improve their basic readings skills that will eventually lead to better reading habits among the students.
[newsshort link=”http://www.mb.com.ph/robredo-leads-araw-ng-pagbasa-story-telling-activities-today/#LPmeXX5fgULvIDEQ.99″ date=”November 27, 2013″ source=”Manila Bulletin” author=”Chito A. Chavez”]