Reading as a habit
By Patricia Subido and Jannica Marie Lipang Ateneo de Davao UniversityTHE youth today has access to almost anything electronic such that old habits like playing street games or even reading have almost gone extinct.Even when reading efficiency tests and exercises are required in various schools, many Filipino studentsacross the country still fail in reading exercises.Mrs. Luzviminda Ladublan, a faculty of Roman C. Acharon Elementary School at Calumpang, General SantosCity, said there are three categories of readers in grade school."Some students can read but lack comprehension, these students are in the instructional level. The other oneis the frustration level, where the students are slow readers and have no comprehension at all, and then theindependent reader who can read on average speed to fast and has good comprehension," she said.This was also reflected in Department of Education's Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI) where thelevel of comprehension of students are measured and monitored. The frustration, instructional, independentlevels are being monitored yearly through a conduct of pretest and posttest in both English and Filipino. A non-reader category is also monitored to determine if there are students who cannot read at all.Mrs. Labudian says lack of books and the standard of living of parents have an impact on the child's readingability.To address this problem, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed the Department of Education in 2007ordered Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus to focus on schools that registered low mean percentages inreading and comprehension.In their school, Mrs. Ladublan said they have established methods to improve reading among their studentsthrough remedial classes, tutorial, provision of reading materials, even provide them with songs, poems,verses, and similar works, and introducing them to new vocabularies and explaining the meanings and how touse words in a sentence.Through these methods, she said, their Grade Six students who took the National Educational, Testing andResearch Center exams improved their English scores by 6.73 percent, in the same year the programs wereimplemented.By December 2009, Region 11 reported an 11.69 percent increase in NAT English category in elementary and8.47 percent increase in secondary scores from school year 2006 to 2009. Although the numbers seem high, the progress that has been made is still not sufficient.The technology that provides these modern students comfort and easy access to almost anything, especiallyinformation about school projects and assignments, makes the students lose one of the basic habits -- reading. As technology progresses, more and more children lack the patience to search for a book in a library or evenread their textbooks. The point, click, copy and paste features of a computer is more favored than the manualbrowsing through books and hand writing the information needed.Department of Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University estimates that improving the reading efficiency of students would contribute by .05 percent to improving the student's grades or over-all GPA.