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Friday, March 04, 2011

DepEd Office of the Secretary: Luisitro confident that PH can achieve Functional Literacy for All by 2015


Luistro confident that PH can achieve Functional Literacy for All
by 2015

With barely four years away from the deadline to meet the education targets, the
Department of Education, through the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC),
vows to strengthen efforts and spearhead policies and programs that will help
achieve the biggest goal of the country -- “Functional Literacy For All”.
“Yes, it can be done. If we work smartly and diligently together, we can deliver
on our promise,” as Education Secretary Armin Luistro pointed out that the
country’s commitment is not to simply achieve EFA but to provide basic
competencies to everyone to achieve Functional Literacy for All.

During the one-day dissemination forum of the 2008 Functional Literacy
Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) results, Luistro mentioned that,
“while these figures clearly show an increasingly literate world, they also tell us
that progress is excruciatingly slow. This means that one adult in five remains

Based on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s
(UNESCO) latest data which were released to mark this year’s International
Literacy Day, documents showed that almost 80 percent of the world's
population aged 15 years and over are now literate, including more women than
ever before.

“It is intolerable that around one in five of the world's adults are illiterate,” noted

It also shows that there are still more than 25 countries that by 2015, are
unlikely to achieve any more than a 30 percent improvement over their year
2000 literacy rates. Without major additional efforts to fight illiteracy, these
countries will account for 92 percent of the world's illiterate population in 2015.
Luistro furthered that the figures “tell us that meeting the goal set by the Dakar
Meeting in 2000 to halve adult illiteracy by 2015 will clearly be an uphill battle.
And unless an extraordinary effort is made, the percentage of illiterate adults will
fall by only another five percentage points by that date.”

UNESCO Director General said that, “There are still 800 million adult illiterates”
(UNESCO Headquarters, 2010). "How can we build equitable information
societies or thriving democracies if so many remain without the basic tools of
literacy? How can intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding prosper when
the literacy divide is so great? And how can poverty be eradicated when the
roots of ignorance are left undisturbed?"

With the situation posing a challenge, DepEd, LCC and the National Statistics
Office (NSO) have joined forces in conducting a functional literacy and mass
media survey among Filipinos. Gathered in 2008, the data spelled out literacy
achievement that will help provide a clearer picture of the scope of the country’s
illiteracy problem.

The very essence of the data gathered is to see “the picture, the
milestonesHhow much have we achieved? Which regions ranked highHor low
and therefore require urgent intervention? Which local communities need to be
given more attention? What policy and action agenda could be derived from
such a situation?,” stressed Luistro.

As Luistro discussed the results, he calls upon everyone – the Council and the
panel of discussants to help LCC prepare key strategies, recommend relevant
policies and map out concrete actions to push forward Functional Literacy for
All. “We need to mobilize strong political and financial support for education,
galvanize additional commitments and build a reinvigorated vision for the
national literacy agenda.”

He also challenged everyone to do their share by saying, “given the remaining
four years to achieve Education For All, I think all of us should be fueled by that
deep sense of urgency for us to be able to achieve that communal vision of
functional literacy for all Filipinos by 2015.”

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