Defensor wanted to know from whichtowns these readers are to introduce appropriate interventions, said Gonzales. He agreed with the step taken by theSchools Division of Iloilo – for schools to hold remedial reading classes – andcited as example the experience of the municipality of Lambunao where he servedas mayor prior to becoming a Provincial Board member. Forty-eight percent of learners werethen frustration level readers, Gonzales recalled. “Our intervention will be systematicand large scale,” he said. “Some parents say gadgets keep theirchildren less restless,” said Gonzales, but he dismissed such reasoning. The municipal government pushed forremedial reading classes in schools and after two years, said Gonzales, thenumber of frustration level readers dropped to 25 percent. “The brains of these children areconditioned to moving pictures such that by the time they are introduced tobooks, they find it difficult to read them,” said Gonzales. ILOILO – Don’t be too quick to blamethe teachers. Early exposure to electronic gadgets such as mobile phones andtablet computers has adverse effects on the reading comprehension ability oflearners and this problem starts at home, according to Sangguniang Panlalawigan(SP) member Jason Gonzales. Local chief executives need to be aware of the participation rateof learners in schools; the cohort survival rate or the rate of learnersentering the first grade that can make it into the sixth grade; the activationof school governing council; and the establishment of expanded school boardwhich will be needed for budgetary concerns; and the literacy rate, amongothers, said Gonzales./PN “The researchers found out that thesechildren’s reading comprehension ability suffered,” said Gonzales. The Regional Education Council isplanning to set a Regional Education Summit in March. Gonzales cited multiple studies of theHarvard Medical School on children zero to two years old exposed to modernelectronic gadgets such as phones and televisions. “I cannot overemphasize how big thisreading comprehension problem is, and this cannot be left for teachers to solvealone. Addressing this starts at home and parents have a key role,” saidGonzales. The chairperson of the RegionalEducation Council (Panay Island), Gonzales was reacting to the report that inthis province which has almost half a million learners, an estimated 42,000from kindergarten to high school are “frustration level” readers – they canrecognize some words but they lack comprehension. Sadly, he lamented, this problemstarts not in the school but at home. The Regional Education Council itselfwill also make use of the data to design interventions, said Gonzales. He suggested that children’s access togadgets be regulated and in this, parents play a very important role. NO TIME TO READ. Do children nowadays spend more time tinkering with their mobile phones than reading books? A Sangguniang Panlalawigan member of Iloilo says multiple studies show children exposed early to modern electronic gadgets such as phones have poor reading comprehension ability. In Iloilo province, an estimated 42,000 learners from kindergarten to high school are “frustration level” readers – they can recognize some words but they lack comprehension. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN He also said Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.met with Schools Division of Iloilo superintendent Dr. Roel Bermejo and askedfor the breakdown of the 42 000 frustrated level readers. Gonzales said it will help local chiefexecutives address concerns on education.