College students can now find short-term work by tutoring Grade 1 students under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd)’s new reading tutorial program.
The Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, DSWD and DepEd’s joint project, will provide opportunities for low-income college students to mentor elementary pupils struggling with literacy. Tutors will be paid a PHP 570 salary per day for 20 days.
The program seeks to help grade school students who either have existing complications with reading or cannot read at all. The project specifically caters to public school learners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the educational system. To avail of the program, pupils must hail from low-income families.
“Through Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, it is our goal to increase the involvement of college students from low-income families in nation-building while helping them in completing their tertiary education,” DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said in a press release last August 1, 2023. “The program also aims to address the learning losses to reduce vulnerability among children and mitigate the scarring caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The DSWD’s financial aid aims to defray school expenses of college students such as transportation expenses, school supplies, school projects, allowances, and other related expenses,” DSWD added in the press release.
The project was officially launched by the two departments on August 2 at the Rizal High School in Pasig City. Gatchalian added that the Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program is a part of DSWD’s commitment to bolstering social protection programs for vulnerable sectors. DSWD referred to the project as an “ecosystem of learning” among tertiary and elementary students.
DepEd further indicated that hearing and vision tests will be conducted for selected learners to confirm that their eyes and ears are not impeding their abilities to read. Learners will also be evaluated based on DepEd’s Comprehensive Rapid Literacy Assessment, which is a standardized tool that identifies children’s comprehension levels and provides possible strategies to support their progress.
Parents and guardians of these elementary learners can further receive PHP 235 in cash aid per day during the 20-day timeframe. It is expected that the caregivers will “render assistance in preparing the needs of their children for learning and reading sessions, assist them in their after-reading session assignments, and attend parent effectiveness sessions as well as other related activities,” DSWD said on their website.
Aside from operating as tutors, college students can also opt to become youth development workers. These workers will execute Nanay-Tatay teacher sessions for parents and guardians of young students, tackling topics such as parenting techniques, child development, family dynamics, childcare, etc. The sessions will also discuss ways in which parents can become effective tutors for their children at home. Youth development workers, who will provide their services under a 20-day period, will receive the same daily salary as tutors.
The pilot implementation of the program aims to equip 6,386 student tutors and 584 youth development workers in total, according to DSWD’s website. 20 selected state/local colleges and universities from the National Capital Region are participating in the project, while 63,877 Grade 1 students from 490 public elementary schools will benefit from Tara, Basa!
Pasig, Quezon City, Makati City, and Parañaque have since begun their training sessions for student tutors, with other pilot areas in Metro Manila scheduled to launch their capacity-building programs shortly after. The Ateneo Center for Educational Development will be coaching the college students. Training for youth development workers was conducted from August 10 to 12; learning sessions for parents and elementary pupils are set to start on August 14.
Inquiries about the program may be sent to the DSWD and Education Department Facebook pages.
In 2021, DepEd allocated 674 teaching positions for Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholar-graduates. That same year, the department offered free online tutoring for students and parents.
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