Literacy is the key to a better future for Filipino children—and a local group is trying to ensure that, ISABEL L. TEMPLO writes. Photos by DAN CERCAD
This class in Kaingin 1, Barangay Pansol, in Quezon City is run by the Binhi English Literacy Foundation, Inc. (binhi means “seed” in Tagalog), which provides English learning support for underprivileged children. English Learning Kit 1 is designed for beginning readers from six to eight years old, while Kit 2 supports and encourages independent reading in nine- to 11-year-oldswho have undergone the Kit 1 classes, like the students in Kaingin 1.
Held daily for six months, the hour-long classes make use of materials provided byBinhi. Every week, the children learn a new poem with new words, do writing exercises, read on their own, and then listen as the teachers read them a story—all with bright-eyed, if not loud, enthusiasm. “It’s fun herein our Binhi class,” says Daisy Castro, 10years old.
In the common vision to provide less privileged students access to quality education, Lao Foundation, Inc. and Binhi English Literacy Foundation, Inc. forged a partnership to implement the English Literacy Program that would improve their literacy and comprehension skills.
Moreover, the Program aims to foster the children’s love for reading and inculcate a love for learning that will aspire them to do better in school and subsequently, improve their economic situation. BINHI provided an English learning intervention tool to qualified students who were at risk of dropping out of school because of low literacy level.
For School Year 2014-15, the BINHI English Literacy Program was implemented in Lao Foundation’s five (5) elementary schools providing support in reading, writing and comprehension skills to 248 Lao Binhi scholars, of which 161 participated in the Beginning Reading Program while 87 were in the Independent Reading Program.
The Program has equipped 18 Teachers with enhanced teaching methodologies and a learning kit that will guide them in the conduct of daily lessons and evaluation of the program’s progress; at different learning levels, developed and improved the reading, writing, oral communication, comprehension and predicting skills of 248 Lao Binhi scholars in Grades 2-3 which will be the foundation for their continuing education; created an awareness in at least 248 Lao Binhi scholars’ Parents/ Guardians the value of education and the importance of their support; and fostered stakeholder cooperation and active involvement.
The continued support from Lao Foundation, Inc. has helped us reach more students in marginalized communities , providing them with quality English learning intervention.