Legarda Joins Celebration of Int’l Literacy Day, Calls For Greater Investment in Phl Education

September 7, 2016

In celebration of the International Literacy Day (September 8), Senator Loren Legarda underscored the need for stronger government support for alternative learning systems that would allow all Filipinos to be literate.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that while the Department of Education (DepEd) has the highest fund allocation in the government budget among all agencies, she hopes to see increased funding for alternative learning systems so that more Filipinos, including out-of-school youth, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and non-literate adults, will have access to education and literacy programs.


“We should not only investment in formal education systems but also in alternative learning systems so that even adult citizens and those in marginalized communities who are unable to enter formal schooling may be given the chance to be literate. Literacy boosts a person’s confidence and more confident citizens are able to participate in nation-building,” said Legarda.


According to the UN, 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills. Thus, under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on quality education, one of the aims is to ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy by the year 2030.


Legarda said the Philippine government should make use of its advantage as home of UNESCO’s Category Center 2 Southeast Asia Centre for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD).


The aim of this facility is to develop and provide appropriate learning programs to benefit the marginalized, the disadvantaged, and the underserved members of the population, including indigenous peoples, out-of-school youth and non-literate adults, as it envisions an educational framework that works for sustainable development.


Legarda, who sponsored the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of the Agreement to establish the SEA CLLSD in the country, said that while the Centre serves the Southeast Asian sub-region, the Philippines, being the facility’s home, has greater opportunity for technical exchanges, collaboration and cooperation with immediate neighbors in the area of lifelong education for sustainability.


The SEA-CLLSD develops and conducts high-level training and capacity-building programs for lifelong learning mentors, teachers and service-providers; pursues research, develops appropriate lifelong learning for sustainability materials, and improves the quality of its programs; and engages in advocacy and networking to raise public awareness and appreciation of lifelong learning possibilities for sustainable development across all ages and in a variety of settings and places.


The International Literacy Day was first celebrated on September 8, 1966. It aims to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. The theme for its 50th Anniversary this year is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”