LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd) regional office here has reported that only a small percentage of young learners in Bicol are struggling readers.

            DepEd-Bicol regional director Gilbert Sadsad told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday that “from the 1.8 million learners here in Bicol, we only have 76,000 struggling readers. Despite the low number, we want all the learners here in Bicol to be readers”.

            He said the figure translates to 4.22 percent of the total number of learners in the region having difficulty in reading.

            Sadsad said they have stepped up their reading proficiency campaign in response to the “3Bs”, or the “Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa” challenge of the agency.

            He said DepEd-Bicol is now promoting its own reading program dubbed as “5Bs” or the “Bawat Batang Bicolano Bihasang Bumasa”, which aims to develop the reading proficiency of learners in the region, to establish a reading intervention project and to ensure the implementation of the initiative.

            The 5Bs campaign, he said, is designed to equip Bicolano learners with strategic reading and writing skills to make them independent young readers and writers.

            Sadsad said teachers must continue to develop strategies in order to improve the reading proficiency of all the learners in the region.

            “The need to attend to quality is now. We all started from access and right now, DepEd is pivoting to quality education, including reading proficiency,” Sadsad said.

            The 3Bs initiative encourages all schools to intensify their advocacies for reading to make every learner a reader and teachers to become effective reading instructors.

            Sadsad underscored the importance of learning resource development, specifically the development of reading material as an indispensable component of any reading intervention program.

“We cannot teach reading without books, and the only way to (improve) reading is to provide opportunities for reading texts,” he said. (PNA/ Connie Calipay  )