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  • Reading, Math, GMRC Focus For Grade 1 to 3, Says Lawmaker

    A recent World Bank report found that Filipinos aged 10 have problems in reading and math. Could this be the answer?
    by Riyalyn Grace Pasimio .
Reading, Math, GMRC Focus For Grade 1 to 3, Says Lawmaker
  • The long-awaited comeback to school also came with some concerns such as shortage in classrooms and teachers, large teacher: student ratio, and the still present risk of COVID.

    Despite these challenges, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte made a promise in a recent Senate hearing to improve the country’s quality of education.

    A 2021 World Bank report found that 9 out of 10 Filipino children aged 10 cannot read.

    In line with this statement and the recent return to school, Pasig City Lone District Representative Roman Romulo pointed out an important aspect needed to improve our education system.

    “From Grades 1 to 3, we have about 6 to 7 subjects. I think we should really reduce that.” Rep. Romulo, chairman of the House Committee on Basic Culture and Education said in an interview on Monday, August 22.

    Rep. Roman Romulo says Grade 1 to 3 students' subjects needs to be reduced to allow focus.

    He further suggested that DepEd should consider limiting the subjects to reading, Mathematics and GMRC (good manners and right conduct) for grades 1 to 3.

    “Make sure that the student knows how to read and comprehend what he's reading, make sure that mathematics is there and of course, GMRC,” the representative added.

    ‘Congested curriculum’

    According to DepEd’s website, currently all grades from 1 to 10 include these subjects: 

    • Mother Tongue
    • Filipino
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Araling Panlipunan
    • Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EP)
    • Music, Arts, Physical Education, Health
    • Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP)

    Rep. Romulo closed his statement and said, “We congested the curriculum too much.” The problem in our current practice, as he pointed out, is not only physical but lies deep within the education system, the curriculum.

    In November 2021, a World Bank report found that 9 out of 10 Filipino children aged 10 cannot read. The report further showed that the Philippines has a 90 percent learning poverty which means that children cannot read and understand simple text by age 10.

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    In Rep. Romulo’s suggestion, grades 1 to 3 will mainly focus on the foundation needed to have a deeper understanding of the subjects on the higher grades.


    Angat Buhay chairperson and former Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo launched community learning hubs on August 22, 2022.


    These subjects are foundational in a child’s learning, especially when children in grades 1 to 3 are still in their formative years. By focusing on fewer subjects, reading will not only focus on reading itself, but on comprehension and understanding of what was read. 


    Mathematics can be taught of as a way of life instead of just memorizing the multiplication table. And just like the primary schools in Japan, good manners and right conduct will be introduced early on which will create a bigger impact on the child’s development.

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    Just like laying the foundations of a house, strengthening the early years of children’s education is crucial in preparing them for life.

    Angat Buhay chairperson and former Vice President Atty. Leni Robredo shares similar sentiments as Rep. Romulo. “Nakakalungkot na marami tayong mga mag-aaral na hindi pa talaga marunong magbasa, o hirap na hirap sa math, na parehong nakakaapekto sa iba pang aspekto ng pag-aaral nila,” she wrote on a Facebook post on August 22, 2022.

    The foundation continues its initiative in bridging the gap in literacy and numeracy through its project, Community Learning Hub. It recently finalized partnerships with Univeristy of the Philippines College of Education and Chalkboard PH. The project has 12 sites all over the country.


    To know more about Angat Buhay Community Learning Hubs, visit its Facebook page.

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