Benguet council seeks support for literacy programs
by SC Aro
La Trinidad, Benguet (15 February) -- The Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) is encouraging the involvement of all sectors of society in pushing for the eradication of illiteracy which is one of the goals of the Medium Term Development Plan.
Former Undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd) and now a LCC consultant, Dr. Minda Sutaria expressed the need of all sectors of society to help in the eradication of illiteracy in order to raise the aspirations and quality of life of the Filipino people.
Sutaria stressed the important role of non-government organizations and the media in support to programs in reaching the marginalized group of learners.
Sutaria said that the government's literacy program hopes to achieve more than learning how to read, write and compute but apply these in all aspects of life. LCC's gauge in measuring the program's impact is improvement in health, nutrition and in income generation.
She said that all the goals in the Medium Term Development Plan were achieved except literacy which is why "we are chasing the call of the Education for All (EFA) program." EFA's prescribes that basic learning needs shall be made available to all by various means by 2015.
Sutaria said functional literacy is equated to life skills and improvement of quality of life. Functional literacy is categorized as those who finished high school education while basic literacy are those categorized as those who had primary education.
In the region, Dr. Gloria Felipe, Chief of the Alternative Learning System Division of DepEd Cordillera Region said based on projections, functional illiterates were 82,000 for 2006. However, she said that the region's functional literacy and basic literacy have an increasing trend.
Functional literacy has increased to 93.29 percent in 2006 based on projections compared to the Functional Literacy Education Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) conducted in 2003 at 85.4 percent.
Felipe said they cannot cover all their targets and need to increase the number of learners through the help of the local government units and the NGOs.
She said aside from the 73 mobile teachers lodged by DepEd at the division offices in the various provinces, the LGUs also provided facilitators notwithstanding the support of the NGOs in the implementation of the Alternative Learning Systems. (PIA-Benguet) [top]