Many Students at High School in QC Can’t Read, How Did They Pass Elementary?

Teachers at a high school in Quezon City are having problems about a good number of students who don’t know how to read, can’t even recognize basic alphabets and numbers, and don’t have any idea about basic colors and shapes! How did these kids even pass elementary?

Sauyo High School (formerly Pasong Tamo High School) is a public high school in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Teachers at the said school were shocked to find that there are so many students in their class who shouldn’t be in high school at all.


Photo credit: GMA Public Affairs / Facebook

With no basic knowledge of the alphabet, they could hardly read at all. Many don’t know how to write as well. But they passed elementary school, leading to questions about why they were even allowed to advance to Grade 2 when they don’t even know basic Grade 1 lessons.

As GMA Public Affairs tried to find answers to this question, the high school teachers believe their counterparts in the elementary were partly to blame for this situation.


Photo credit: GMA Public Affairs / Facebook

According to Arnel Salva, the Filipino Head Teacher at Sauyo High School, this actually happens a lot in public schools because each school tries to outperform the others. Part of the criteria for being the best school is having the highest number of passing rate.

So, Salva believes the students were simply allowed to pass each grade level for the school to have ‘better performance’ as an institution.


Photo credit: GMA Public Affairs / Facebook

With the performance rating of the school being dependent on the number of students that pass the grade, teachers just let everyone pass. The reward to this is mass promotion – but at the expense of the students’ learning. After all, teachers in higher levels no longer take up basic lessons such as reading and writing!

But the cycle continues. The teachers continue to let these students pass; thus, many students at Sauyo High School are in that school yet have no idea how to read and write.


Photo credit: GMA Public Affairs / Facebook

Moreover, Science teacher Jefferson Isorena shared that teachers are actually the ones blamed if the students failed, even if they did everything they could to teach the children. They are required to render extra hours for remedial classes during summer to help the kids – and this is without extra pay.

Many teachers don’t want to go through all that trouble; thus, they simply let the students pass.


Photo credit: GMA Public Affairs / Facebook

But for the teachers of Sauyo High School, teaching is their calling – and they have to make sure these kids learn! They created a special class they called “Section Darwin” for these students. They are taught the basics of reading and writing. Checking into that class of high school students, you might think they are still in Grade 1.

This is so sad…


  1. What about going back to basic from grade 1-3 I suggests the subjects to be taught are Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (Mathematics) only for grades 1-3. and for grade 4 to grade 6 is the right time for them to inject additional subjects like Science, Araling Panlipunan, H.E., Music etc. this way the school children has the capacity to understand other subjects in grade 4-6 because during their stay in grade 1-3 they obtain a full concentrations and comprehensions in all 3Rs subjects. And i hope this suggestion will help to eradicate all the Non-Readers (NR) in our country. Let us save the children of our nation❤️

  2. Sana makatulong ako kasi Reading Teacher ako… Ang reading kasi letter sounds yan at blending of letter sounds.

    • Hi Mam Arlene G. Buenaventura, there are also a lot of Non-Readers in our school. Please help us eradicate or lessen the numbers. Thank you very much.

    • Sa initial reading Lang yan. At Kung naproproduce lang nang tama ang sounds o tunog ng isang salita, word calling Lang yan hind reading. Ang tunay na reading ay merong pagkaunawa sa binabasa.

  3. Tulad d2 sa japan mga student ng high school at collage ng tuturo sa mga bata ng 2 hrs sa gabi pagKa tapos ng pasok yung gusto lang naman mag sabi Ka lang sa city hall cla na bahala

  4. I think it is the system that is to be blamed. The department is now focusing on the so many paper works of the teachers. Report here, report there, report everywhere. If the pupil is not promoted, the teacher will be asked. Si teacher ang sisihin kasi hindi marunong si teacher. Ano ang ginagawa ni titser at hindi nakapasa ang batang ito. Palagi na lang ky titser isinisisi ang mga bagay-bagay. Well in fact, there are so many factors that could affect students learning. Una , parents educational background. If the parents can’t read, paano naman matutulungan ang bata na magbasa? Hindi pwdeng iasa na lang kay titser lahat. Dapat turuan din sa bahay ang bata. Kung hindi marunong bumasa ang mga magulang, paano nila matutungan ang kanilang anak?

  5. Kadalasan kasi Hindi interesado Ang mga magulang sa pag aaral ng kanilang anak… Okay na Kung pumasok sa skul.. Yun lang.. Turuan din yung mga ninyo ng good manners bago magsimula sa skul… Karamihan kasi salbahe na kinukunsinti pa ng parents kaya talo yung mga guro..

  6. Dapat po kasi sa grade school plang hnd sinasanay ang bata sa assignment na hnd pa nman kayang gawin ng bata especially ng kindergarten…dapat ung pinapagawa ng teacher ung kaya sa capacity ng bata hnd sa magulang…pra hnd cla umaasa na may gumagawa ng assignmet nila..c teacher dapat turuan panu maging independent ang mga bata hnd ung maging dependent tuloy sa parents…at tsaka ung number of students bawat isang guro sa panahon ngaun tama na ung 20 especially kindergarten to 3 pra ma 1 on 1 cla..pero isa pang factor khit pa 20 mahirap na i handle sa mga ugali ng mga bata sa ngaun sabayan pa ng paper works ni teacher useless pa din…kya sana mabago na ang sistema ntin sa education…we are aiming our young minds to learn hnd pra sa performance ng school…stop the essence of competition…teachers are paid the same no more ranking at all…

  7. This does not happen only in that school but all over the nation. I believe this is the result of dep ed’s continuous experimentation with the curriculum and the pressure they are putting on teachers. I couldn’t say because of the standard they’ve set but basically there is no standard at all. Because of the pressure they’ve placed on the teachers shoulder the higher ups wouldn’t understand the deterioration of the educational system- they just sit and think of ways to torture teachers with more pressure. Why dont they try teaching and doing the teachers work at the bottom for a few months in order for them to develop a solution to the problem, maybe just maybe they will understand why did this problem has risen.

  8. The system, the teachers, the parents, and the students. These are ones to blame. It’s not just one. There are many factors as to why students fail and everyone should do their part.

  9. Its the system and the people running it. Why not look/study how the teachers from mountain barangays in the far provinces teached????? I’m sure our DEPED officials will defintely get something from them. Based on my experience and from what I have obseved, education from the provinces are more advanced than in the city like Metro Manila Area…. just an observation lang naman.

  10. Sana ibalik yong araw na pwedeng edisiplina ng maayos ng titser yong estudyante, kasi ang nangyayari ngayon, kunting displina lang ni teacher nagsusumbong na agad ang estudyante sa kanyang magulang at ang parents naman KONSENTIDOR; report kaagad. Mas mabuti pa nung araw kasi takot nga kami (slight) sa titser namin eh madami naman kaming natutunan. At parang mas maraming magagaling na estudyanteng grumadwet noon kesa ngayon.

  11. I believe this is not only true in QC but all over the country because we are folliwing one system in DepEd. All schools are again preparing for the End Of School Year EOSY Report containing the drop-out rate, failure rate, repeatition rate, promotion rate etc. Sad to say, it is a basis for shool, district, even division performance… n if a student fail in a particular subject the teacher has to produce all the evidences or even asked to do more even she/he has exerted all efforts for that student to be passed. For d sake of their performance i believe n for d. teacher to b relieved from d burden… he will just close her eyes and let God understand… The SYSTEM has changed, the teachers are always blamed…not d student who refuse to learn n d indifferent and unsupportive parents…

  12. Yes Ma’am Dorotea R. Eseller I believe in you! I hope the curriculum in Grade school will be studied or reviewed again. Young learners must be given basic subjects. We have the same sentiments in our school (Dayap NHS) about non-readers.

  13. Then why not implement a national test to see if a student is capable of entering high school? Then, elementary schools can be rated based on the percentage of their students that pass this national test.

    Also, we have to admit that not all kids are the same. If all kids are given the same test on a national level, their scores will form a normal distribution. It should not be the teacher’s fault if a pupil falls on the left side of the curve. There are lots of studies that show that genetics also has a part in a person’s intelligence.

  14. On positive note, hayaan nyo lang kc meron magiging billionaryo dyan sa mga nonreaders na bobo pa. Tingnan mo y9ngg mga binoto nyo

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