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DSWD, DepEd to pay college students to be reading tutors

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College students in the Philippines are being given a unique chance to earn while they learn. Thanks to a collaboration between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd), college students can now become reading tutors for Grade 1 students and earn a substantial stipend for their service.

Named “Tara, Basa!” Tutoring Program, this initiative was launched on August 2. Within the first week, it had already trained 370 college students from Marikina to act as tutors, overseen by DSWD. These students can earn up to P570 per day and are contracted for a 20-day period.

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Initially, the program will run its pilot in the National Capital Region (NCR). An estimated 6,000 college students, 63,000 Grade 1 learners, and their parents or guardians are projected to benefit from this innovative program.

According to DSWD’s press release, a unique component of the program is the “Nanay-Tatay sessions,” which are specifically designed to educate parents and guardians on how to effectively support the learning journey of their children.

The participating tutors hail from 20 state and local universities and colleges. On the other hand, the young learners are drawn from 490 different elementary schools scattered across the NCR.

Parents engaged in the program are not left out; they will receive an allowance of P235 per day as part of their involvement.

Secretary Rex Gatchalian emphasized the importance of this initiative. “Through the Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, we intend to empower college students from low-income families. Not only do they get an opportunity to support their tertiary education, but they also contribute to nation-building,” he said in a DSWD press statement.

The program’s core objective is to assist Grade 1 students, particularly those who have difficulties in reading or are complete non-readers, bridging the literacy gap at an early stage. This move is a direct reaction to the alarming learning crisis that’s been observed in the country. A study from the World Bank in 2021 highlighted that over 90% of Filipino ten-year-olds grapple with understanding age-appropriate texts.

For those eager to be a part of this transformative program, they can reach out to their nearest DSWD office or associated college or state university for more details.

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