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PIA Press Release

86.4% of Filipinos are functionally literate

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (15 September) -- About 58 million of the estimated 67 million Filipinos aged 10 to 64 years old are functionally literate - meaning they can read, write, compute and comprehend.

This is based on 2008 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), which result was just released this September and presented by National Statistic Office Administrator Carmelita Ericta during the 2010 National Literacy Conference and Awards held at the Teachers Camp here last Friday.

According to Ericta, the 2008 functional literacy of 86.4 percent is slightly higher than the 2003 FLEMMS survey result of 84.1 percent. She also stressed literacy is much higher to persons who have completed high school or higher education.

Ericta reported that the National Capital Region NCR has the highest functional literacy rate at 94.0 percent, followed by CALABARZON (93.5 percent) and Central Luzon (92.1 percent). Cordillera ranked fifth among seventeen regions with 89.2 literacy rate.

The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao has the lowest functional literacy rate at 71.6 percent.

The latest FLEMMS also showed that more female (88.7%) are functionally literate than men (84.2%).

In spite of the high literacy figures, Ericta stressed that the country still needs a yearly three percent increase for the Philippines to reach the United Nations Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of providing a primary'Education for All.'

According to Ericta, about 20 million or 25% of the estimated 80 million Filipino population attended elementary education but about 13 percent% did not finish or not did proceed with a high school education. For those who reached high school, 16 % did not graduate.

Ericta also pointed out that of the estimated 39 million Filipinos aged 6 - 24 years old, 32% of them are not attending school because they cannot afford it (24%), they are working (22%) or they simply lack interest (20%).

Based on the survey, television remains the most influential mass media medium to Filipinos with 94%, followed by radio with 90% and magazine with 83%. Only 43% of the respondents said Internet is the most influential medium.

Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary and Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) Chairman Rizalino Rivera reiterated to all the stakeholders during the two-day d National Literacy Conference and Awards the importance of their works in advancing literacy in the country. He also outlined the need for all sectors of society to help and work together for a quality education for all. (PIA) [top]

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