By: Sherly B. Ramos, Teacher III
SDO Laguna, Liliw Sub Office
To produce globally competitive citizens is one of our aims for our learners, and for them to succeed in today’s advance and interconnected world, it is essential that our learners develop strong literacy and numeracy skills which are the foundations of learning.
We already know what literacy and numeracy is. Literacy is the ability to read and write with the goal of building student’s comprehension, writing skills, and overall skills in communication; whereas numeracy is the ability to apply basic math concepts with the goal of equipping learners of critical and problem solving skills; yet, we cannot even emphasize how important these two skills are in the life of a person – may he/she still be a student or already in the workforce.
Being central to lifelong learning and sustainable development, it is essential that our learners be able to acquire these skills as early as they can as these are active processes that begin during childhood and will develop throughout one’s lifetime. Without these two skills, one may not be able to develop deep understanding of a specific subject in school and could be left behind in his/her learnings.
The question is, as educators, how can we be able to make sure that we are producing numerate and literate learners? Some might say that this is the job of their Mathematics and English teachers; however, it is the job of every teacher to reinforce these to their teaching-learning process along with its reinforcement of the daily activities of a student.
From interpreting an electric bill, measuring ingredients when cooking, how much is their change when they do not pay the exact amount can already become their practice ground for numeracy. And from answering an email, posting their status on their social media app, and sending a message to their group chat are also ways where they can apply reading and writing skills and develop them for their own good.
This might all sound too easy. Yes, I know that I have might made it sound too lenient, still the big factor to be considered here are the teacher and learners. Early intervention is the key. If the learners are not able to acquire the basic skills in numeracy and literacy, integration of these skills in other subjects or areas of a students’ life will be useless.
Another thing is that when teaching, we must set clear goals for our learners. Take it one step at a time. Remember, multi-tasking may be already a trend, but this is not applicable for learners who have numeracy and literacy foundation skills that are not yet fully developed. With diverse learners that we have today – wherein some learn through visuals; some learn through listening; some learn when they are moving – we must be able to prepare something that would fit each students’ need.
Teaching-learning is a two-way process. Teachers must also be provided with continuous professional training to improve on their strategies and skills in the teaching of literacy and numeracy. It has been proven that high-quality teaching is the one of the greatest influences on how a student learns and progress. To be able to deliver quality education, there should be quality professional teachers who are involved in the teaching-learning process. Research indicates that professional learning is most effective if it deepens teachers’ content knowledge and knowledge about how students learn that content.
The key for our learners to be able to make sense of everything and access numerous opportunities for them are numeracy and literacy. To be able to critically assess situations and solve them in a logical way would lead our learners to make wiser judgements about the kind of actions they will take in their lives. With this, let us create learners who are numerate and literate for them to create opportunities and acquire excellence for themselves – not only today, but also in their future.