Annually, the country launches National Literacy Month in September, followed by the National Reading Month in November. Together, these campaigns are called “Brigada Pagbasa,” and are launched as sustained projects with the hope of helping address the widening literacy gap in the Philippines, especially among young children of school age.
In partnership with the Department of Education and World Vision, REX has stepped up to the challenge of enhancing the reading skills and spreading the reading habit of Filipino children. The project is an extension of the Brigada Eskwela campaign, which promotes community participation in time for school opening, with groups and organizations volunteering to help build and renovate schools from far-flung places.
This time, with Brigada Pagbasa, REX and its partner, World Vision, will bring together experts, change makers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders across all sectors from international and local agencies, as well as public and private organizations to spread reading literacy among Filipino children. Government agencies and organizations such as the National Library of the Philippines and the National Book Development Board have also registered their support for the project. This year, radio host and TV personality Ms. Joyce Pring was chosen as the official Ambassador for Brigada Pagbasa.
“Literacy, most especially amongst the children and youth, is one of the key factors that determines how well a country progresses in this rapidly-changing world. We have an unfortunate reality where some Filipinos, both young and old, are still struggling with their literacy skills,” said Mr. Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision in the Philippines.
Based on a report by the United Nations, the Philippines has the highest literacy rate at 97.95 percent among Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia. The literacy rate is 98.9 percent among females and 97 percent among males aged 15-24.
While these data on literacy rates, the country’s improvement from the past years was minimal at best, and there remains a staggering number of children in the country who face literacy challenges. The remaining gap reflected in recent studies shows that more work is needed to address this pressing issue.
Brigada Pagbasa will fully commence this November at several communities across the Philippines to educate everyone with the value of reading.
As the country’s premier provider of holistic learning solutions, REX is committed to helping sustain holistic education and opening opportunities for transforming society. REX believes that, even from the most basic skills such as reading and writing, our efforts, when put together, will continue to nurture young learners who will build our nation’s future today.