24 November 2011

DepEd's DEAR Program

DepEd's DEAR
One of the biggest differences between reading a book and reading from a social networking site is the scope to unleash one's own creativity. In Facebook or Twitter, the concept is conceived by the writer or poster and presented before in a specific form. On the other hand, the writer does conceive the concept of the book, but the reader is also given ample freedom to unleash their creative thinking and power of imagination.

Reading a book is in itself an exercise to sharpen one's creative thinking skills, whilst it broadens their horizons. An individual not so keen on learning history is bound to take some interest in the subject after reading how World Wars were started and fought and how civilization developed through years of colonization and conquest.

To rekindle the interest in reading a book among the young minds of schoolchildren, the Department of Education (DepEd) has declared November as the National Reading Month and has urged schools and learning institutions to conduct a month-long reading program to revive the youth’s interest in the printed word.

One of the major programs to promote reading and literacy among the pupils and students, Education Secretary Armin Luistro asked various schools to adopt the "Drop Everything and Read (DEAR)" concept, a 15- to 20-minute daily activity devoted to reading a book or any reading materials available in the school.

In other countries, whenever the principal would announce "DEAR" at different times each day, everyone would stop whatever they were doing and just read. Everyone took it seriously and the students were fiercely proud of their ability to produce the book they wanted to read at a moment's notice. DEAR promoters are encouraging families to follow suit.

"DepEd is initiating programs that would promote reading and literacy among the pupils and students, motivate our youth to learn from the lives and works of eminent Filipinos, uphold one's own heritage and values and make reading a shared physical experience," said Luistro in his memo.

He said the program was meant to make reading relevant again to the youth "amidst the growing reliance on the Internet and inclination to online activities."

Other activities DepEd lined up for November are the Read-a-Thon, which aims to discover outstanding readers in class and "A Paragraph A Day" sessions, where students learn one new word a day and read aloud one or two paragraphs every day to boost their speaking skills.