Smart phones may be to blame for low reading literacy -Iloilo Official

Iloilo City - Just recently, DepEd stated that there are 42,000 'frustrated' level readers in Iloilo. These students are from kinder to high school, though the majority of those with very poor reading comprehension are those between grades 1 to 6. (Read more: 42,000 learners in Iloilo have very poor reading literacy -DepEd)

Jason Gonzales, Iloilo Provincial Board Member and chairperson of the Regional Education Council for Panay Island, said that one factor that contributes to low literacy could be early exposure to gadgets such as smart phones.

He cited research that exposure to mobile phones and television at an early age could affect brain development in young children. He said that the government is not solely to blame for this problem, but how a child was brought up at home. Parents should also regulate their children's use of mobile phones, he also said.

DepEd is also taking steps to remedy this situation. Schools Division of Iloilo is holding remedial reading classes for students. One of their programs is Beyond Horizons for Literacy (BHL), "which developed “contextualized and levelized” instructional materials in reading and numeracy that serve as supplementary materials in conducting remedial classes for learners." (Source)

However, DepEd also emphasized that "it takes a village to educate a child," and encouraged the participation of the community to help, not just place all responsibility to teachers and schools.

The Schools Division also clarified that the research tool used to estimate the 42,000 frustration level readers, thePhilippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI), is not the only assessment tool used to gauge reading level. It only serves as an estimate, and could be used along with other assessment tools.

Gov. Arthur Defensor, Jr., of Iloilo also asked for a breakdown of these 42,000 estimated students so they can recommend solutions.

Recommended Reading:
An outlook over the 42,000 frustrated Ilonggo readers by Glory Moralidad of You Create Iloilo blog. In this article, the author explains other possible factors that contribute to low literacy with first-hand experience of the advocacy group Bata Ako PH. It also includes recommendations on what schools can do to help students with poor reading literacy.

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