The Problem and Its Background

It is a well-known fact that when there were no televisions or computers, reading was a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading book and travel to lands far away in their minds. Reading can widen our horizon. Beyond doubt, knowledge can be gained from from reading. It gives us a bigger picture of the world and would help us be at par with other countries. Libraries can promote the importance of reading but the tragedy is when the people including the students would prefer to go to different malls than to visit the school library or the public library.

Nowadays, the students have lost their skills and passion to read because there are many other exciting and thrilling options available, aside from books. Reading helps in mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. It is also an activity that involves greater levels of concentration and adds to the conversational skills of the reader. It is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired, consistently. The habit of reading also helps readers to decode new words and phrases that could come across in everyday conversations.

It is a big help to stay in touch with contemporary writers as well as those from the days of yore and makes us sensitive to global issues. Most of the developed countries believed that one of the foundations of a certain nation is the passion of the 2 people to read. According to the Public Library Service Group of Singapore, “Reading is a key to igniting the cycle of innovation and creativity. ”1 To give emphasis to the importance of reading to innovations or inventions, the researcher would like to look back to the history of the world.

The age of the great inventions was in the 18th century and this was the century of Europe. 2 Without reading, it is impossible to have great inventions during those times and for such a time as this. President Abraham Lincoln had a famous perspective of reading. He said that reading enlightens our mind, broadens our horizon, expands our knowledge and opens up new avenues. This was the reason why the Americans took the lead for two consecutive centuries, the 19th and the 20th century. American power will not disappear anytime soon, but the twenty-first century seem likely to be the Asian Century.

3 The 21st century indeed belongs to Asia. Like in Dubai, they promote the importance of reading and they want to create a knowledge-based economy and further elevating the position of Dubai’s public libraries as community center for knowledge sharing and intercultural dialogue. Yes, a center for knowledge, for knowledge is one of the products that can be acquired from reading. The different modern infrastructures that can be seen in China, Singapore, Korea, Dubai and to some other developed countries in Asia are just the output of this knowledge.

This is the reason why Singapore wanted to become a nation of readers. Fifty years 3 ago they were just a minion without direction but now they have redeemed their nation for becoming one of the first world countries in such a time as this. Thailand is also promoting the importance of reading and you can see that through their agricultural research. At the present time, they are now the top one exporter of agricultural products. Learning from these countries, one can observe that reading can lead to a rise of a certain nation and even can lead to a rise of a certain race. That is the power of reading.

Someone once remarked that the Philippines is a nation of non readers. In this study, the researcher would like to start somehow that the Philippines can also become a nation of readers. From one of the known authors which the researcher accept as true, he said that leaders are readers, and readers are leaders. 4 If this country would like to lead in the 21st century, this nation must begin to read. Background of the Study Why is it that despite Philippines supposedly high literacy rate, many Filipinos can barely read and write? Why have not this nation been able to develop a reading habit among Filipinos?

The maker of this research thinks that one of the answers is the deplorable state of reading among schoolchildren that was reported in the Manila Bulletin dated March 15, 2010. That is why Chevron Philippines Incorporated launched a Caltex Mentor Program to help the Department of Education 4 concerning over the alarming increase in the number of non readers in our country. 5 This was a survey that was made in 2004. The problem that need to be solved is not only how to improve the reading habits of the students but to get to the bottom line of the problem why they do not possess this habit.

In this day and age, a large number of non readers among schoolchildren are increasing. If these children will not be taught in their early age, it could be harder for them not only in developing reading habits but also in excelling academically. This problem is as dangerous and lethal as ignorance and negligence. Therefore, something need to be done. Juan Miguel Luz, a former education undersecretary said that the problem of non reading lies at the heart of why the Philippines is so uncompetitive in the world economy and why so many of the Filipino people continue to live in poverty or barely escape it.

6 According to a 2003 government survey, newspapers and magazines are read by only 46. 5 percent. Perhaps that is why most of the information people receive today is gathered from television (61. 8 percent) and radio (56. 7 percent). 7 From the National Statistic Office of the Philippines the simple literary rate in 2003 was actually lower at 93. 4 percent for the entire population for at least ten years of age. 8 This is just the survey that was conducted for the ability of a person to read and write with understanding a simple message in any language or dialect.

This does 5 not include reading and writing skills which leads to a higher order of thinking that allows persons to participate more meaningfully in life situations requiring a reasonable capacity to communicate in a written language. Based on a population of 80 million, 6. 6 percent illiteracy translates into 5. 3 million Filipinos who cannot read or write. Without a doubt, there may be even more Filipinos incapable of reading and writing a simple message, with understanding, than reported officially.

From the Philippine-Informal Reading Inventory Test, Schools Division of Manila, SY 2003-04, by the end of the elementary cycle, Grade 6, over one-third of elementary graduates were identified as frustrated readers. 9Here is the crux of the problem, with poor reading comes poor learning. Juan Miguel Luz added that to develop a reading habit, schoolchildren need books that tell stories in an interesting manner while developing a broader vocabulary. Textbooks, which are more lesson-oriented, lack the imagination for the children to develop the reading habit.

As an educator, the researcher desires to maximize the services given to the students up to however the school can help them in terms of improving their reading habits. Setting of the Study The Republic of the Philippines as shown in the map in Figure 1, is also known as the Pearl of the Orient. It is one of the countries in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s second largest archipelago consisting of 6 7,107 islands. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by Celebes sea, and on the west by the south China sea. The land area is 298,171 sq km and the total area 300,000 sq km.

The estimated population as of 2010 is 99,900,177. It is an agricultural land because it is so rich in natural resources. Wherever you go, its beauty has no end. Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa and one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is also rich in nickel, chromite, and zinc. Geothermal energy however, is another product of volcanic activity that the country has harnessed more successfully.

The Philippines is the world’s second-biggest geothermal producer behind the United States, with 18% of the country’s electricity needs being met by geothermal power. The setting of this study is Unciano College, located near Guadalcanal, V. Mapa and Old Sta. Mesa. Geographically, it is located at latitude 14° 36′ 1″ North of the Equator and longitude 121° 0′ 59″ East of the Prime Meridian on the Map of Manila ( Figure 2). About 200 meters away from the V. Mapa MRT station rendering it very accessible to commuters. The vicinity map of Unciano College is in Figure 3 where the most of its students live.

7 Figure 1 Map of the Philippines 8 Figure 2 Map of Metropolitan Manila 9 Figure 3 Vicinity Map of Unciano College 10 Conceptual Framework This study assessed the reading habits of the Dentistry and dental technology students, by collecting information on their status in terms of reading. Due to the survey in 2004 regarding the increase in the number of non readers in the country, the researcher identified the need in assessing the reading habits of the students and a need in providing a program that would help them in developing this habit.

Factors that influence reading, reading frequency, kinds of reading materials and the reasons why the students lost their skills and passion to read will be processed by judicious assessment of the four items. After collecting the data, a reading program will be formulated and proposed to improve the reading habits of the students. The paradigm showing the systems design of the study is presented in Figure 4. 11 Process Inputs Output Figure 4 A Paradigm Showing the Systems Design of the Study 12 Statement of the Problem This study aims to determine the reading habits of the Unciano Dentistry and Dental technician students.

Specifically, the study aims to answer the following questions: 1. What is the profile of the students in terms of: 1. 1 Age 1. 2 Gender 1. 3 Course 1. 4 Year level 2. What are the factors that influence the students to read? 3. Why do the students have lost their skills and passion to read? 4. How frequent does the student read? 5. What kind of reading materials do the students read? 6. What program may be proposed for the Unciano Dentistry and dental technician students to improve their reading habits? Assumptions This study will be anchored on the following assumptions: 1. The respondents’ responses to the questionnaire will reflect

their honest and accurate assessment of their attitude towards reading habit. 2. Data will be taken from different resources. 13 Significance of the Study The study is designed to find out whether or not the dentistry and dental technology students of Unciano College have the habits of reading. Through this research, the Faculty of Dentistry in Unciano College would assess the percentage of students who like to read and those who do not. If there will be more students who do not have the habits of reading then it is really about time to implement a program that will encourage the students to read.

There is a saying regarding the law of the teachers that if you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow. I would like to change the saying with the same perspective which believe it can be applied to anyone; If you stop reading today, you stop growing. Teachers play a major role in imparting knowledge and in connection with this I strongly have faith in that this research would give the Faculty of Dentistry an additional privilege to be an instrument of change in the lives of the students through giving emphasis on reading.

This study will assist the instructors to help the students improve reading habits, to establish priorities, and plan strategies to attain this endeavor for the advancement of each student. It will also serve as a baseline with which future studies on reading habits of the dentistry and dental technician students in Unciano College. Scope and Delimitations of the Study The study will be conducted to determine the status of the reading 14 habits of the dentistry and dental technology students of Unciano, College of Dentistry.

Sixty students will be used as a sample in conducting the survey. The study limits its coverage to the first year dental technician students, first year dentistry proper students and to the dental clinicians. Each of the respondents will be given same questionnaires to answer. Definition of Terms To facilitate and assure correct and thorough comprehension of the entire study, the following terms are hereby define: Asian Century. This term is used to describe that Asia is now dominating the twenty first century. National Statistic Office. This is the Philippine government’s major

statistical agency responsible in collecting, compiling, classifying, producing, publishing, and disseminating general-purpose statistics as provided for in Commonwealth Act No. 591. Reading Habit. This a reading cyle that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously, without one being conscious about them. Reading Frequency. This evaluates how often does one read in a given time. Skill. This refers to the learned capacity to carry out pre- determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. 15 NOTES 1Sharon Thien, Kiang – Koh Lai Lin, “Nurturing a Nation of

Readers: Sharing the Joy and Adventure of the Reading Experience through the Singapore public libraries,” World Library and Information Congress, August 14, 2008: National Library Board Singapore, 2. 2 George Thompson, Jerry Combee, World History and Cultures in Christian Perspective. 2nd ed. (A Beka Book, 1997), 348. 3 http://www. nationalinterest. org/Article. aspx? id=20844 “ The Asian Century,” Doug Bandow, National interest online, February 17, 2009. 4 Dr. Howard Hendricks, Teaching to Change Lives. (Multnomah Publishers, Inc. , 2005),26-27.

Ina Hernando Malipot, “They Can Read” Manila Bulletin, March 15,2010: Education Section, 21. 6 Juan Miguel Luz, “A Nation of Nonreaders” Philippine Center For Investigative Journalism, Thursday, June 7, 2007. 7 Norma L. Salcedo, “Literacy Information in the Philippines” (Abiva Publishing House, Inc. , 2007), 2. 8 Juan Miguel Luz, “A Nation of Nonreaders” Philippine Center For Investigative Journalism, Thursday, June 7, 2007. 9http://mikeluz. net/index/index2. php? option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=30 “A Nation Of Non Readers” Juan Miguel Luz, October 13, 2008: 1. CHAPTER 2

Review of Related Literatures and Studies This chapter summarized the literatures and studies reviewed, both foreign and local relevant to the present study. These literatures and studies further justify the importance of assessing the reading habits of the subjects. Foreign Literature The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a speech as he launched his second book entitled “Indonesia On The Move,” in 2008. His speech was about urging the Indonesians to develop reading habits. He believed that a successful human-beings and nation are those who keep studying and reading.

He also mentioned that cultivating a love for reading is a kind of investment which can create a better future which the researcher’s believed not only the reader’s future but this includes the future of the nation. 1 Miller wrote an article regarding becoming a classroom of readers. She required her students to read forty books each year. She said that requiring her students to read widely exposes them to more genres, authors, vocabulary, and background knowledge than she could ever accomplish by teaching a few texts each year and it helps the students discover and develop their own reading tastes.

2 Hendricks mentioned in his book that one of the things for growth 17 in the intellectual dimension is to maintain a consistent study and reading program. He believed that leaders are readers and readers are leaders. She said that the two factors that will influence us the most in the years ahead are the books we read and the people we are with. 3 There is also a saying that is relevant to what he said and which I believed is true and that is you are what you read. Local Literature

In an article published by the Manila Bulletin, Duenas discussed her point of view what we can attain from reading. In her own opinion people nowadays can either be book aficionados or skeptic readers. The former see reading as more than just a source of comfort and joy while the latter often succumb to the negativity. 4 But for me, people at the present time do not only read books for satisfaction, for comfort and joy, for yielding to negativity but in addition to that they also read because it is a requirement.

Although they do not want to do it, they have to do it because it is a need. The writer believed that reading buffs consequently become achievers while those who skip the reading practice remain at the tail’s end in the long run. The reason of the writer for this is because reading enriches one’s life with knowledge and this knowledge according to the writer is like a bubbling cauldron of so much power. A power that non readers cannot achieve. That is why she ended up by concluding that reading can give anyone so much happiness for truly, there is a 18

bliss in print. Public affairs coordinator Cherry Ramos stated in the Manila Bulletin that to develop good reading habits while growing up is to instill in them the value of reading, make them interested to learn new things and empower them. It was also mentioned in the article that Chevron Philippines Incorporated collaborated with teachers to devise a mentor kit. This was composed of a lesson plan, a diary where parents and teachers could monitor the progress of the child, and the reading tools and other materials such as books and other visual aids.

5 It is so good to know that there are organizations such as this that carries the load of this problem, hence making a move for the improvement of the next generation. According to Dr. Aurora H. Roldan, too much reading materials, little or no amount of time at all for teacher explanation, lack of creative interaction between teachers and students, and the laziness of the teacher to help students further develop their reading skills are the reasons why most children simply do not want to read.

She even mentioned that in her own standpoint, reading is a scientific experience, she considered it as laboratory because reading is a thinking process. 6 Foreign Studies A study that was examined by Mokhtari, Reichard and Gardner was to relate the impact of internet and television use on the reading habits and practices of college students. For the purposes of their study 19 they adapted the time diary survey methodology. Through this technique they obtained more accurate measurements of the respondents’ time use relative to the type of reading activity they are in.

Their findings revealed that participants spend a considerable amount of time engaged in recreational reading, academic reading, television watching, and using the Internet. Unfortunately, the least favored of all four was the academic reading and internet usage appeared to be a powerful informational resource for respondents who spent significantly more time per day using the internet than any of the three activities. 7 Another study was conducted by Sudha and Harinarayana in India regarding the role of library in promoting reading habits of professional and non professional college students.

The researchers gave emphasis to the importance of libraries in promoting the students’ reading habits. They concluded that library is the heart and brain of college education. Recommendation was given for the librarian to assume some roles of a teacher to enable the students to interact with the library staff to get the required information and guidance in selecting the reading materials. 8 Based from the researchers’ point of view, the writer strongly

accept as true that reading habit is important not only in educating readers but also in increasing the quality of education and learning standards. In terms of the role of the library, like what the researchers have said, library can contribute to the enhancement of creative potential of people 20 and lead to the goal of becoming a learned society, a knowledge society. As a researcher also, I would like to put it this way, library can lead to the goal of becoming a learned nation and a knowledge nation as they promote the importance of reading habits.

The study of Yilmaz on reading and library usage habits of the students whose mother tongue is Turkish in Vienna, Austria concluded that reading and library use habits affect the educational achievements of the students, positively and the students have no sufficient reading and library use habits. In other words, they have serious problems regarding with these habits. He also added that his research must be supported and enriched with the new researches which will be made in other countries and their results must be compared.

The result of the present study will be compared with the study that was conducted by Yilmaz. 9 Local Studies The study that was conducted by Coquia was to relate the reading levels and academic performance of the College sophomore students in urban and rural settings in terms of vocabulary, comprehension, speed and accuracy. According to her research, the reading levels of the College sophomore was just equivalent to third year high school in terms of vocabulary, grade seven in comprehension level and to grade five students in terms of speed and accuracy based on our educational

21 system in the Philippines. It is concluded that the students’ reading skill is below their year level placement. 10 It is a fact that the education that has been earned in the Philippines is not accepted by most of the developed countries. The equivalent of the Philippine diploma especially to western countries is to wash the dishes, clean their houses or simply make them their helpers. That is the reason why in Greek dictionary, Filipina is defined as a domestic worker from the Philippines or a person who performs non-essential auxiliary tasks.

11 Another one is Chip Tsao, a columnists in Hongkong concluded in his blog that the Philippines is a nation of servants. 12 That is also the basis why in Spain, the Filipino people are just a chocolate bar named “Filipinos” ( Figure 5). 13 When you turn the chocolate bar over, it reads “Pruebas Filipinos despues one hora en la nevera” or “Try Filipinos after one hour in the fridge” ( Figure 6). They are brown on the outside and white in the inside. A connotation that has been spread all over is that white skin is better than black or brown skin.

To be an American is better than to be a Filipino. The country’s strength, what the nation can become and what it can achieve are not yet been known. Filipino people is still in the process of rediscovering its potential. The secrets of the past generations is not yet being unveiled and also the secrets of other countries why they became super powers. This is just because reading is not a priority by the majority of the Filipino people. Another study was conducted for revitalizing the reading programs 22 of the grade four students.

Tatlonghari made a recommendation based on his study that curriculum planners must take into account the role of the parents, peers, administrators and media in making a child a good reader when they plan the curriculum. He believed that teachers are reading teachers and therefore should be made aware of the current developments in reading and reading instruction. 13 The researcher believes the point of view of Tatlonghari that to develop the reading habits of the students and to become readers, the educators should be the first model in terms of reading.

To equip the students, teachers should equip themselves first to make their own innovations on how to contextualize approaches, strategies, and materials based on the situations they are in. Another related study was made by Villalobos regarding the reading skills of grade three Pupils. Based on her research, fifty percent of the total population has low performance in pupils’ competencies in reading. Because of this research a recommendation was made to implement a reading program for the students. Villalobos strongly believed that it is impossible for the students to do other tasks in other fields without developing their reading skills.

14 Rey prepared instructional materials to develop vocabulary, comprehension, and speed and accuracy for the college freshmen 23 students to improve their reading power. Through this material, she found out that students were weak in attacking vocabulary, making inference, giving cause and effect, making comparison and contrast, drawing conclusion and reading with speed and accuracy. 15 The reviewed related literature and studies helped the researcher to realize that proposing a reading program is not an easy task. One needs to give his heart for the work.

It is not just proposing a program but making a difference for the next generation and these are the students. Most of the reviewed studies and literature gave emphasis regarding the contribution of reading for the development of a nation. With this, the researcher is very much willing to focus more on the implementation of a reading program to achieve the ultimate goal in improving the reading habits of the people. Because of the reviewed related studies and literatures, the researcher believed that the present study must be carried out.