The Department of Education has been trying numerous programs to increase the performance of students in national achievement tests. These tests measure the mastery of students in the different skills such as language, math, science, etc. Under the incumbent secretary Jesli Lapuz, the program is callled Whole School Approach for Effecting Reading and Writing (WSA). They conducted a seminar in Baguio; a few delegates from the Division of Las Pinas were sent; I wasn't lucky to be a delegate. For NCR, they chose Santolan High School as model of the WSA Program. We visited the said high school. We were amazed with what we saw. Majority felt it was not a public high school. Though it was limited in space, they made use of all corridors for student activities. It was very obvious that they did not repaint the walls a day before to cover vandalism. We did not smell the smell of fresh paint. When we toured the poultry, we did not see broken chairs piled up. It was really something very extraordinary for a public school. More surprisingly, they implement tutorials, advanced or remediation religiously. As extra curricular, students get involved in arts, drama, dance. The students who performed ballroom were finalists in a local dance sport contest, costumes courtesy of the local city government of Pasig.
Back to my own school: We have implemented a remedial program involving pretest in spelling,review of vowel combination, reading of word parts, focus in meaning and post test in spelling. So far, it has been successful, sepecially in English Department. Other departments are half-willing. The results are not as succesful with English's. They just don't realize that to teach reading, one must start with the sounds first.
I wish other schools would utilize this type of remedial strategy. Ten minutes may sound so stressful to accomplish the task. But if you have the heart for the students who were obviously always absent due to family's economic dificulty, we can readily remedy the reading problems of the high school students