84.1% functional literacy of Filipinos, but…

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“Literacy is the Best Remedy,” is the theme of the UN International Literacy day observed on September 8. Based on multi-agency data which include the Department of Education and the National Statistical Council, the functional literacy of Filipinos is 84.1%. This means 67 million of us are functionally literate and 12.72 million are illiterate. Not bad.

But the big number of illiterates is still a huge problem. With a sizeable impaired segment of the population, we cannot tap the maximum potential and productivity of our workers. Having close to 13 million individuals lacking in education and skills is a huge drain in our pool of nation builders. By estimates, this is close or a bit larger than the extent of the country’s brain drain—Filipinos who have left for jobs abroad.

Philippines must not slacken for about 65% of our youth are out of school and 56% of our students are not able to graduate in high school. Philstar (09/09/08, Roces, AR) There is an ominous message in this statistics as we proceed to the 21st century. Realizing that among the ranks of highly schooled literates, a significant number of talented Filipinos use their educational edge for their own selfish ends, the picture doesn’t look pretty. (Photo Credits: EDP@ICC)=0=


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