Competitiveness and Reading Go Together?

When I used to work in the corporate world, I would sometimes get reports about the most competitive local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines. A study would be done by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), if I remember correctly, and the study would include surveys regarding how constituents and businessmen view a particular LGU in terms of quality of life, systems in place, ease in doing business, among other factors.

I remember too that Marikina and Bacolod always figured in the top LGUs for this study. I am reminded of this study as the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on July 12, 2007, ran a story about Marikina grade school students topping reading tests. In the article, it was mentioned that Grade 3 students in Marikina did well in reading proficiency tests given in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The city government of Marikina stated that Grade 3 pupils in its public schools obtained a mean percentage score of 79.76%. (LasticMom’s note: I don’t know if this score is supposed to be high enough. It was said to be better though than the scores of other LGUs in Metro Manila.)

The article then went on to discuss Marikina Mayor Marides Fernando’s and the city’s promotion of reading comprehension and proficiency. There are said to be specific reading programs on-going in Marikina such as Concentrated Learning Encounter (which focuses on comprehension) and the Eager Readers project at the city library. Mayor Fernando even states that the city would like to have “zero non-readers in Marikina.”

Any feedback from Marikina students and residents? I guess any effort to promote reading in an LGU deserves commendation and support. If a city or LGU is well-run, it is likely that the leader has his or her priorities in proper order and so it may not be surprising that reading is being given the attention that it deserves. So, do competitiveness and reading go together? I most definitely think so.


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