Literacy best tool in fight vs poverty, says DepEd official


Literacy best tool in fight vs poverty, says DepEd official

Tacloban City (July 5) -- Literacy is still the best tool in the country's fight against poverty, Department of Education Undersecretary Ramon Bacani declared during the launching of the "Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan" radio segment, a media advocacy for the universalization of functional literacy, at the Philippine Information Agency Region 8, on July 3.

The launching was covered live through a simulcast broadcast in seven radio stations and one television stations and was covered by two other major television networks and a number of print media representatives, in the six provinces of Eastern Visayas.

Usec Bacani who is the chairman of the Literacy Coordinating Council, said that although the Universal Declaration Human Rights affirms that "everyone has the right to education," literacy remains a low priority and as a result, literacy remains very low in many parts of the country to include Region 8.

The literacy advocacy through the Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan, Literacy Tungo sa Kaunlaran" radio segment is being piloted in the six provinces of Eastern Visayas, Undersecretary Bacani disclosed.

If the program will be successful in Region 8, then there is a possibility that the advocacy through radio segment will be made nationwide in the future.

The "Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan" radio segment is the Literacy Coordinating Council's small contribution to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's anti-poverty program, Usec. Bacani said.

Literacy is an indispensable means for effective social and economic participation, contributing to human development and poverty reduction, Usec Bacani said.

A person who is literate, one who could read and write and knows how to count and add, will easily find a productive activity and will not be easily persuaded to join the elements whose ideologies are contrary to the rule of law, Usec Bacani added.

This is why literacy is central to the efforts of eradicating poverty and hunger, ensuring sustainable development and the achievement of the millennium development goals as well as all the other Education for All goals.

After the 15 minutes radio episode, the Secretary entertained the questions from the local media and correspondents of various national broadsheets.

Usec Bacani was accompanied by Dr. Minda Sutaria, former undersecretary of Education who is now a consultant of the Literacy Coordinating Council, Dr. Norma Salceda of the LCC Secretariat, DepEd Region 8 ARD Alberto Escobarte, Dr. Imelda Parado DepEd 8 Regional Alternative Learning System Coordinator and Dr. Ronilo Firmo, DepEd Tacloban City Division Superintendent.

PIA Regional Director Olive Tiu, who hosted the launching episode of the Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan radio segment expressed her appreciation and gratitude to Usec Bacani for personally gracing the launching.

She expressed hope that through the Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan weekly radio segment, PIA under the leadership of Secretary Conrado A. Limcauco Jr.., will be able to increase awareness and sustain interest in literacy initiatives and programs from the national down to the local levels.

The simultaneous live broadcast in seven radio stations region-wide was first ever to be conducted in Region 8, a reliable media source said.

Literacy Coordinating Council which was created through Republic Act 7165 passed in 1991, is an inter-agency body tasked to formulate policies and coordinate national efforts towards the development of literacy skills for lifelong learning in a global community.

The LCC is committed to create and maintain an environment for the universalization of literacy. It is composed of the Department of Education Undesecretary Ramon Bacani as Chairman; Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero a co-chairman; Secretary Conrado Limcauco of the Philippine Information Agency; Philippine Normal University President Lutgado Barbo; NEDA; the Philippine Senate; the Philippine House of Representatives and Non Government Organizations involved in literacy education. (PIA 8) - - Austere Panadero

Boracay, Aklan