Almost Nine Out of Ten Filipinos Are Functionally Literate (Final Results from the 2008 Functional Literacy and Mass Media Survey)

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Thursday, September 9, 2010


Fifty-eight million of the estimated 67 million Filipinos 10 to 64 years old are functionally literate, according to the results of the 2008 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS). In this survey, a functionally literate person is one who can read, write and compute or one who can read, write, compute and comprehend. Persons who completed high school or a higher level of education are also considered functionally literate.

The 2008 FLEMMS revealed a functional literacy rate of 86.4 percent; in the 2003 FLEMMS the estimate was 84.1 percent. Among the regions, NCR has the highest functional literacy rate at 94.0 percent, followed by CALABARZON (93.5 percent) and Central Luzon (92.1 percent). ARMM has the lowest functional literacy rate (71.6 percent). The functional literacy rate among females is higher than among males (88.7 percent vs. 84.2 percent).

As expected, functional literacy rate is higher among persons with higher level of education. Among those who had reached but did not finish high school, 89.8 percent were functionally literate and of those who had finished elementary, 80.8 percent were functionally literate. By comparison, 67.0 percent of those with some elementary education were functionally literate, while only five percent among those with no formal education were functionally literate.

The 2008 FLEMMS is the fourth in a series of functional literacy surveys conducted by the National Statistics Office. The previous rounds were conducted in 1989, 1994, and 2003. In the 2008 FLEMMS, a self-administered questionnaire was accomplished by 69,482 individuals aged 10 to 64 years in 25,505 households sampled for the survey. The survey aimed to provide information on basic and functional literacy status and exposure to mass media of the population. The 2008 FLEMMS was conducted in coordination with the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) and the Department of Education (DepEd).