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Thursday, 3 August 2023

‘Brigada Pagbasa’ resolves learners’ difficulty in reading

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

Reading has become fun and enjoyable for pupils who are on their break, yet still find time to read and learn more from phonics - words - sentences.

With the innovations initiated by the teachers from the different district schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) Butuan City Division, it becomes easier and more convenient for the learners to read and comprehend the lessons being taught to them under the Brigada Pagbasa (BP) Program.

According to Loinda Guerta, division reading coordinator of DepEd Butuan City Division, during the Kapihan of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga held at SM City Butuan, the Brigada Pagbasa is another form of volunteerism of parents and other stakeholders, which calls for the different sectors to unite and volunteer in teaching learners who needs utmost attention in reading and comprehending the lessons in the school.

“During Brigada Pagbasa, volunteers work closely with the teachers in every school, in time also with the conduct of Brigada Eskwela (BE), where they help guide and teach the learners to enhance their reading ability. The DepEd really hopes to help the children and youth by initiating various learning activities that will boost their confidence as they become competitive academically,” she said.

Guerta added that since its implementation in 2019, there have been volunteers who signified their interest and signed Memorandum of Agreement with DepEd Butuan City Division.

“What we did to make it more organized is that we advised the volunteers to approach the school head of which they want to volunteer and teach, and they will be assisted by the trained teachers of the respective school. We have readily available reading tools and materials, wherein volunteer-teachers will have to check whether the students are able to comply or respond correctly to the processes,” she explained.

The key stages in the DepEd’s approach to reading refers to stages within the K to 12 Program that highlight specific developmental milestones by which the assessment of learning is crucial at the end of each stage. The following key stages are identified: Key Stage 1 (Kindergarten to Grade 3); Key Stage 2 (Grade 4 to Grade 6); Key Stage 3 (Grade 7 to Grade 10); and Key Stage 4 (Grades 11 and 12).

In terms of presentation of learning materials, Guerta announced that DepEd is now maximizing the advent of technology, making it easier for the teachers and volunteers, and more fun and enjoyable for the learners.

During the conduct of a post-test for identified learners in Grades 1-3 in English, Guerta revealed a concerning result which shows that 179 learners were  considered as “nothing level” or non-readers. Additionally, in the letter level, there were about 664 learners.

“We also have a total of more than 5,000 frustration level readers in Butuan from Grade 1-12. We are also considering the learners with special education needs, and with this, we continue to give our best to help them cope and improve their reading proficiency,” bared Guerta.

In line with this effort, the DepEd also implements the National Learning Camp (NLC) from July 24 to August 25, 2023.

“We need the continued support, synergism of the parents and all other stakeholders as we implement these activities and programs for the welfare of our learners,” Guerta added.

There were also collaborations of different government agencies, local government units, and private sector during the 2022’s Brigada Pabasa Caravan in Butuan City and then established the “Basa Batang Butuanon Drive” and Project VIBER or the Virtual Intervention for Beginning Readers, among others.

Division Reading Profile

The DepEd Butuan City Division data from 2021-2022 shows the performance gaps in reading, along with the initiated activities and interventions, and the results. 

Performance Gaps in Reading


Promising Result

The following are the number of frustration level learners per key stage as identified during the pre-reading assessment:

Key stage 1 = 7,535 learners (Letter and Word Levels)


Key stage 2 = 11,351 learners

Key stage 3 = 6,444 learners



Number of Non-readers per Key stage:

Key stage 1 = 875 (Nothing Level)

Key stage 2 = 642

Key stage 3 = 244 

Strengthened reading program activities to schools (Basa Batang Butuanon Drive) for the key stage 1 learners

Conducted regularly monitoring and provision of Technical Assistance of TANDEM-teams (Technical Assistance in Nurturing and Developing Excellence in Monitoring)

Shared the results of the monthly report of the monitoring and evaluation conducted by the TANDEM-Teams through the Public Schools District Supervisors (PSDS) of the districts.

100% of the schools in the elementary have sustained reading program.


Significant quantitative results of the proficiency level in the reading will be obtained after the post-reading assessment [June 2023].

Guerta elaborated that the Division is still working on the data generation of the results for the 2022-2023 assessment.

Project SURE [Summer Reading Enhancement]

The DepEd Butuan City Division also lauded the local government of Butuan for initiating the Summer Reading Enhancement (SURE) program in the year 2018 even before the implementation of Brigada Pagbasa.

The program addresses the learners in Grades 1-3 levels who belong to the ‘Nothing’ and ‘Letter’ Levels based on the Functional Literacy Assessment Tool. These learners need immediate reading intervention activities as they are considered as readers whose reading ability is interpreted as critical risk based on the interpretation scale.

Comparative data of struggling readers as recipients of Project SURE from School Year (SY) 2018-2019 to SY 2022-2023: 

School Year

No. of Learners


Budget Allocation










No implementation of Project SURE due to the COVD-19 pandemic









Brigada Pabasa as a tool to enhance reading ability of the learners

The Brigada Pagbasa (BP) as a form of Brigada Eskwela is an after-school reading program in response to Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa or DepEd 3B Initiative issued under DM 173, s. 2019. All BE implementers are encouraged to conduct this partnership initiative for reading which serves as a platform to synergize education-related endeavors that immediately addresses literacy and numeracy learning gaps.

This reading advocacy serves as an avenue for all stakeholders to contribute possible solutions to improve the country’s education system, especially in equipping the learners with 21st century skills. With the successful nationwide implementation last school year, the Brigada Pagbasa shall continue with an aim to engage more education partners and experts to intensify this after-school reading program.

In the same issuance, DepEd acknowledged that initiatives implemented to develop the learners’ reading skills are insufficient based on the results of the national assessments for learners.

The Brigada Pagbasa Program aims to make every learner a reader by engaging partners and stakeholders to promote the culture of reading.

With the anticipated kick-off of Brigada Eskwela on August 14, 2023, the DepEd Butuan City Division is set to conduct a caravan from the Libertad Sports Complex going to Agusan Pequeño Elementary School, Butuan City, where the Stakeholders’ Convergence will also be held.

Dr. Minerva Albis, Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd Butuan City Division called on the different stakeholders not only within the city but also with the rest of the provinces in Caraga to actively support and campaign that promote the well-being of the learners.

“There is a call to not just ensure education but shall double its efforts to guarantee that every Filipino learner acquire the basic competencies such as literacy literacy and numeracy. Throught this Brigada Eskwela, it seeks to intensify our collaboration to uplift the quality of education and meet the current gaps of our educational system,” underscored Dr. Albis. (JPG, PIA-Caraga)