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DEF Messenger Newsletter

Teacher with students


by: Mary Jean Palomo

Master Teacher I, Dao Elementary School 


Reading is one way of improving one's vocabulary as well as developing critical thinking. Reading is not only good for students but, more importantly, for teachers. We teachers, after all, are first and foremost, students - or any person for that matter. As "students" we must endlessly search for knowledge and any information that would further hone our skills.

We teachers don't have to feel like we don't need further training or education anymore. Learning, after all. is a never-ending process. It is something we should never take for granted. The more information and knowledge we have, the more we become responsive to our students' needs. 

Reading also helps our writing and speaking abilities. If we are wide readers, we can easily express our thoughts on any matter under the sun. The same holds true with writing. If we are fond of reading, we will also find it easy to express our thoughts in writing. So reading tremendously complements our writing and speaking capacities.

By reading, we should not only limit ourselves to reading pocketbooks. We should read all kinds of  books. Reading  daily newspapers also helps out a lot. We are, at the same time, learning events happening around us. In the process, we can relate to these events and their importance to our students. 

Let us define what reading is. 

Reading, it is said, is a "complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). It is a means of "language acquisition," of communication, of sharing information and ideas. Like all languages, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader's prior knowledge, experiences, attitude and the  community where it is culturally and socially situated.  The reading process requires continuous practice, development and refinement. 

Thus, for reading to be really effective and its end result to be truly felt, it should be done as a habit. Which means that it should be a continuous process of learning, of searching for the truth and for anything that comes into our curious minds.

Let us, therefore, develop the habit of reading. It can be both enjoyable and rewarding. 



by Mary Jean Palomo 

Master Teacher I, Dao Elementary School 

Some still believe that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has negative effects on the people like making them complacent with the financial support given to them to the point that they become lazy - but this is not true.

The country's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program only includes health and educational assistance for the poor. That means they have to work for their food, electricity, clothing, water and other necessities and even wants. 

The beneficiaries (kids) also have to fulfill certain conditions in order to keep receiving the grant. They have to enroll and attend a certain percentage of class days. They also have to attend family development sessions and join a seminar on parenting and social services in the community. They also have to get proper medical care. 

As i have mentioned earlier, the 4Ps help the poor in availing their right to education.  The numbers do not lie. 

The joint press release by the World Bank and the Department of Social Welfare and Development disclosed the following:

1. Pantawid barangays have more enrollees in the day-care centers than the non-Pantawid barangays. Seventy six percent of pre-schoolers are enrolled compared to the latter's 65%.

2. Students aged 6-14 from Pantawid barangays have higher school attendance: 95-96% vs. 91%.

3. Pantawid households spend 38% more on education per capita compared to their counterparts. This is proof that the 4Ps is giving people fish and at the same time teaching them how to fish, so to speak. In simpler terms, it does spoil people a bit but it helps people help themselves in the long run. 

The 4Ps started in 2007 with the goal of reducing extreme intergenerational poverty in the Philippines by providing families with subsidies (CCTs) focused on education (by encouraging school attendance) and health (by eradicating malnutrition). The health grant allots P500 per household every month, or a total of P6,000 every year. The education grant gives P300 per child every month for ten months, or a total of P3,000 every year (a household may register a maximum of three children). More than 4 million households benefit from the program. 

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