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DepEd to set every Friday as ‘catch-up’ day focusing on reading

Starting January 12, 2024, the Department of Education (DepEd) will be allotting every Friday as a “catch-up” day in schools, particularly to help students to read and comprehend better, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte announced on Tuesday.

Duterte said during the catch-up Fridays, all learners from kindergarten to Grade 12 shall use the time to read books, articles, and other reading materials based on their interests, and be tasked to write books, essays, and book reviews and analyses.

“Kailangan natin ng isang araw kung saan kailangan nating humabol doon sa kung saan natin gustong dalhin ang mga bata. Hindi paulit ulit na lang tayo sa ating ginagawa pero wala naman tayong nakikitang pagbabago, wala tayong nakikita na improvement sa ating mga learners,” she said.

(We need a day where we have to catch up on where we want the children to be. We should stop repeatedly doing measures that do not result to changes or improvements in our learners.)

Citing international studies, Duterte explained that the quality of education in the country is not good. Thus as part of the learning recovery program, she said that learners need to be taught first how to read well.

“Ibig sabihin, wala tayong ibang gagawin kundi turuan ang bata magbasa at ‘yung mga marunong nang magbasa, ituro sa kanila ang critical thinking and analysis. ‘Yung marunong na sa critical thinking and analysis, pasulatin ninyo ng libro, ng essay. Lahat ng kailangan nating gawin na matututunan ng mga bata, gawin natin sa catch-up Fridays,” she said.

(We will do nothing else but teach the child to read and those who can read will be taught about critical thinking and analysis. Those who already know critical thinking and analysis, will be tasked to write a book and essays. Everything we need to do so that kids can learn, we do on catch-up Fridays.)

Aside from reading, Duterte said that Fridays will also be set to catch-up on the values, health, and peace education of the learners.

She said that the scheme would be conducted until the end of the Marcos administration in 2028.

Asked if the Friday subjects which will be affected will be moved on other days, Duterte said, “Hindi na. Gagawan nila ng paraan sa Curriculum and Teaching Strand na ipasok lahat nung mga regular na mga lessons sa apat na araw tapos gagawing catch-up ‘yung Fridays.”

(No. The Curriculum and Teaching Strand will make a way to include all the regular lessons in the four days and then allot the Fridays for catch-up.)

She also said that the policies on the catch-up Fridays are currently being drafted and will be released in December in time for the school-based launch in January next year.—AOL, GMA Integrated News