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PIA Press Release

Cebu dads move to avert "brewing literacy crisis"

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu, Philippines (22 October) -- The Cebu City Council passed a resolution recently urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to revive the "Library Hub" project to avert what the council calls a 'brewing crisis' in the area of literacy.

Councilor Edgardo Labella in his resolution said, the "Library Hub" project is a supplementary program that helps in raising the literacy and reading rate among public primary school students by exposing them to libraries in partnerships with the private sector.

Labella cited statistics from the Philippine Reading Inventory report that in 2003-2004, slow or non-readers in grade-1 reached 64.1percent and 49.98 percent for those in grade-2.

He also cited the results of the 2003 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey that showed a functional literacy rate of 84 percent or 49 million Filipinos who were 10-64 years old at that time.

Labella continued that the survey results also said that among the 20-24 age group posted the highest functional literacy rate while those at the 10-14 age group or the elementary students had the lowest functional literacy rate.

The councilor believed that even with the advent of internet and other media forms, "a library full of books is still the best starting point for the primary school students to learn the art and science of reading."

Labella further said that although the DepEd is in the thick of things in improving the reading skills of public school students, he still believed that there seems to be a "brewing crisis" for the next generation of Filipinos if we believe the results of the reading inventory.

The council then had passed the resolution asking the DepEd to re-establish the Library Hub project "so that reading infrastructure in public schools will be built in partnerships with concerned government units and private sectors in order to make books readily accessible to public school children," the resolution reads. (PIA-Cebu) [top]

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