Poverty remains a challenge to literacy-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
HIGH poverty incidence remains to be a challenge for the country even with a high literacy rate of 95.7 percent.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma stated this in his keynote address during the opening program of the 2012 National Literacy Conference and Awards here at the Teachers Camp, Wednesday.
Despite the almost 96 percent literacy rate, the income distribution in the country remains lop-sided with those in the (lower) economic class D accounting for more than two-thirds or 67 percent while the poorest of the poor (class E) make up another 10 percent of the population.
Out of the more than 92 million Filipinos, only a little over nine million or around 10 percent of the population belong to the higher economic classes of society, Coloma said.
Coloma noted that the same situation, meaning high literacy rate not accounting for prosperity or development, can also be seen in other countries worldwide.
Citing the case of Cuba, based on UNDP report of 2011, the country posted the highest literacy rate of 99.9 percent, however, such high literacy rate does not make them to be among the most prosperous nations in the world.
Same situation can be observed in North Korea with a 99 percent literacy rate and ranked 21st based on the said UNDP report. But intermittent episodes of famine and widespread hunger are still being experienced in the said country, Coloma said.
In the country, Coloma pointed out that the National Government through the Department of Education headed by Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro continues to work hard in pushing for the attainment of “Education for All” to make more Filipinos functionally literate by reaching out to the remotest places and marginalized members of the community nationwide.
Hand in hand with the high literacy rate, poverty alleviation policies and programs are continuously being undertaken and infused.
This year’s National Literacy Conference from September 18 to 20, adopts the theme, “Literacy for Life and A Sustainable Future: Learning Together for the 21st Century.” (Carlito C. Dar)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 27, 2012.