ONLY 9% OF OVER 1K SCHOOLS: DepEd-Iloilo reports decline in non-readers and non-numerates


By Mariela Angella Oladive

Only nine percent of the 1,172 schools in Iloilo province reported improvements in student literacy (ability to read) and numeracy (ability to count) across schools within the Division of Iloilo.

Dr. Ernesto Servillon Jr., Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent, said that as of March 7, 52 schools recorded “zero non-readers.” This means that all students in these schools possess the capability to read and comprehend effectively.

Additionally, 59 schools have reported zero non-numerates, indicating that students in these schools demonstrate proficiency in understanding and solving simple math problems.

However, there is still a pressing need to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of learners in over 1,000 other schools.

“In December 2023, we conducted a post-assessment on reading and numeracy, and we observed a significant decrease in the number and percentage of non-readers and non-numerates. This indicates a notable improvement in the performance of our students,” Servillon said during a press briefing.

The relative success story of these schools follows the implementation of the “Tib-ong Bumulutho,” an educational umbrella program within the schools divisions designed to address the challenges of low performance in reading and numeracy, particularly exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic.

The Tib-ong Bumulutho program encompasses reading and numeracy remediation activities conducted by teachers, with support from organizations such as ABC+ and Synergia Foundation, as well as the provincial government.

“We have also implemented the hiring of remedial teachers, partnering with LGUs and other stakeholders. This is in addition to the regular local board staff,” noted Servillon.

He further highlighted that a crucial aspect of the program involves implementing and enhancing contextualized district and municipal initiatives on reading and numeracy. These efforts are coordinated by district offices in collaboration with local chief executives and municipal mayors.

“We have witnessed the effectiveness of these strategies in improving our performance in reading and numeracy,” he affirmed.

In his presentation, Servillon provided data based on the Comprehensive Rapid Literacy Assessment (CRLA) from Grade 1-3, showing an improvement in student performance, particularly in Hiligaynon, Filipino, and English.

The need for full refresher/intervention, which previously impacted approximately 40 percent of students, has now decreased by a single digit or less than 10 percent.

Looking forward, the school division official expressed optimism, stating that further improvements are anticipated by the end of the current school year in May, driven by ongoing face-to-face interventions.