DepEd, DSWD Launch Tara, Basa! Program to Enhance Reading Comprehension in Philippines

The Tara, Basa Program is an innovative collaboration between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. Established to support struggling elementary readers and provide short-term work opportunities for college students, the initiative is a win-win for all parties involved. Here is how you can join this impactful program:

According to a World Bank study report in done on April 2022, only one of 10 Filipino children can manage to read and understand a simple text in Filipino or English language. So this is an alarming fact that needs to be addressed.

DepEd and DSWD work together in the Tara, Basa Program to address the intersection of their mandates. The initiative helps struggling elementary readers improve their foundational reading skills (a key area of DepEd’s mission) while providing short-term work opportunities for financially challenged college students (aligning with DSWD’s welfare and development objectives). This concerted effort ensures that the program is not only educational but also socio-economically beneficial, reflecting the holistic approach to development that both departments advocate.


The Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines is the government agency responsible for ensuring access to, promoting equity in, and improving the quality of basic education. It oversees all public and private educational institutions in the country, setting the standards, curriculum, and guidelines for academic programs.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), on the other hand, is the executive department responsible for the protection of the social welfare rights of Filipinos and the promotion of social development. It provides assistance to individuals and families in need, particularly focusing on the marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society.

The Tara, Basa Program is a joint effort between DepEd and DSWD to address the issue of low literacy rates among Filipino children. The program aims to provide struggling elementary learners with access to high-quality education through tutoring sessions conducted by college students. It also offers short-term work opportunities for financially challenged college students, providing them with valuable experience while supporting their educational expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

The program involves three key groups: elementary students, parents/guardians, and college student tutors. Each group has specific requirements:

Elementary Students

  • Must be evaluated and identified as a struggling reader or non-reader.


  • Must actively participate in the “Nanay-Tatay” learning sessions.
  • Required to assist their children in preparing for reading and learning sessions.
  • Should help their children with after-reading assignments.

College Student Tutors

  • Must be enrolled in any recognized university or college in the Philippines.
  • Must complete the training to become a Youth Development Worker (YDW).

Benefits of Participating

The Tara, Basa Program offers several benefits.

  • For elementary students, it provides a supportive learning environment to improve their reading skills.
  • PHP 235 per day for parents who participate in the Nanay-Tatay sessions. They also get involved in their child’s education and receive valuable training on how to become effective tutors at home.
  • PHP 500 (or minimum daily wage in that region) per day for college students, who get the opportunity to earn while pursuing their studies and gain valuable teaching experience.

How to Participate

Please check out the guidelines below on how to participate in the Tara, Basa Program:

Elementary Students and Parents/Guardians

  1. Have the student evaluated as a struggling reader or non-reader.
  2. Participate in “Nanay-Tatay” learning sessions conducted by college student tutors.
  3. Parents/guardians assist in preparing for reading and learning sessions.
  4. Parents/guardians help students with after-reading assignments.

College Student Tutors

  1. Enroll in any recognized university or college in the Philippines.
  2. Complete training to become a Youth Development Worker (YDW).
  3. Conduct “Nanay-Tatay” learning sessions for struggling readers or non-readers.

By actively participating in the Tara, Basa Program, you can make a palpable difference in the lives of struggling Filipino children while aiding in the country’s overall educational development. Join the program today and be a part of creating a brighter future for these young learners.

DSWD Secretary Gatchalian Interview for ‘Tara, Basa!’ Tutoring Project

Here’s a video by News5 featuring the current DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian talking more about the importance of the Tara, Basa Program and how it aims to promote early literacy and improve the reading skills of Filipino children. In the video, Secretary Gatchalian emphasizes that investing in education is crucial for building a better future for our nation and encourages more Filipinos to join this cause.


To learn more about the Tara, Basa Program, check out this infographic and learn about the benefits and impact of the program:

dswd tara basa program

dswd tara basa program explained

dswd tara basa program benefits

dswd tara basa program tutoring program

Recent Success Stories from the Tara, Basa Program

Since its launch, the Tara, Basa Program has made a significant impact in improving children’s literacy and providing short-term work opportunities for college students. Here are some success stories from the program:

  1. Improved Literacy: Through the help of dedicated college student tutors, struggling elementary readers have shown significant improvements in their reading skills.
  2. Empowered College Students: By participating in the program, college students not only gain work experience but also contribute to the educational development of their fellow Filipinos.
  3. Strong Community Engagement: The program has fostered strong community engagement by involving parents and guardians in their child’s education and creating a supportive learning environment for struggling readers.

Join the Tara, Basa Program today and become a part of these success stories. Let us work together to create a brighter and more literate future for our nation. So, let’s unite and support the education sector in the Philippines through this impactful collaboration between DSWD and DepEd. Because as we invest in our children’s education, we are investing in the future of our country.

Video: DSWD and DepEd Launch Tara Basa

Here’s a video news report as shared by PTV Philippines focusing on the launch of Tara, Basa Program. Watch and learn more about this collaborative effort to improve literacy in the Philippines

Final Thoughts

The Tara, Basa Program is a great initiative that not only tackles the issue of struggling readers but also promotes holistic development by empowering college students and engaging parents in their child’s education.

This collaboration between DSWD and DepEd highlights how various government agencies can work together to address societal issues effectively. By joining this program, you are not only making a positive impact on others but also contributing to the overall development of the Philippines.

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