More school libraries sought 

GAELLE MARCEL-UNSPLASH

A CONGRESSMAN at the weekend said the government should resume building school libraries to improve reading comprehension among students. 

“We should end the moratorium on building new libraries,” Batangas Rep. Ralph G. Recto said in a statement. “A school without one is like a swimming pool without water.” 

The Philippines ranked last among 79 countries in reading comprehension in 2018, Mr. Recto said, citing the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s program for international student assessment. 

Fewer than 15% of school children could read simple texts, the United Nations Children’s Fund reported. 

“If it’s true that 900,000 enrollees went from private to public schools, that would call for the construction of 22,500 rooms,” Mr. Recto said, adding that a remedial measure can be made to increase the Department of Education’s (DepEd) budget for infrastructure. 

DepEd has been allotted P5.91 billion next year for the construction of new classrooms. 

“This should jolt all of us into intensifying our efforts to make pupils read and develop the fondness for books that do not only inform, but also prepare young minds to acquire deeper knowledge in science,” he said. 

The congressman said school libraries should have free wi-fi so that students can tap into the “online universe of reading materials waiting to be explored by curious minds.” — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo