THE Department of Education (DepEd), through the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC), is set to hold anew the 2010 National Literacy Conference and Awards, at the Teachers Camp, Baguio City on Sept. 8 to 11.

This year's conference theme, "Community Development: A Shared Responsibility to Society through Literacy," is in line with the priority agenda of the 2010 United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD).

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In spite of impressive advances in worldwide literacy over the past 50 years, an estimated 861 million people or 20 percent of the world's adults, still cannot read or write or participate fully in their societies, according to the latest UNESCO statistics. Two thirds of these people are women. Another 113 million children are not in school and are therefore not gaining access to literacy skills.

In the Philippines, about 18 barangays have at least two out of every 10 who are illiterate. According to the Literacy Mapping of fifth to sixth class municipalities done in 2007, the top 20 lowest barangays in terms of literacy posted a literacy rate that ranges from 30.4 percent to 82.4 percent. Meaning there are still barangays in the country where about seven out of 10 people are illiterate.

In the Cordillera, Tinglayan in Kalinga ranked number 12 with 72.3 percent literacy rate, meaning about only seven out of 10 knows how to read or write.

Boliney, Abra ranked number 18 with a literacy rate of 80.3 percent and Sadanga, Mountain Province ranked number 20 with 82.3 percent literacy rate.

In line with the National Government's commitment to provide an "Education for All", as well as with our country's commitment to the United Nations 2015 goal of "Education for All", the DepEd, through the LCC continues to work hard in addressing the illiteracy problems in the remote and impoverished barangays. (Lito Dar)