2009 National Literacy Conference

In his message, DepEd Undersecretary and LCC chairman Ramon C. Bacani expressed hope that the said conference would inspire and empower all participants to be more active in the nationwide campaign of universalizing literacy in the country and reach the Education for All goal of reducing by 50% the number of nonliterates by 2015. Bacani also stressed that literacy empowerment is indeed a key to community development as it allows people to think and act for the improvement of the quality of their lives. Literacy skills are essential tools (for people) to live in today’s increasingly changing and complex world and in the face of knowledge-based and globalized economies.

One of the highlights of the Conference was the recognition accorded to the municipalities of Tubungan, Iloilo and Agoo, La Union as Literacy Hall of Fame awardees, being three-time National Literacy Awards winners in the local government unit categories. Tubungan Mayor Victor Tabaquirao and Agoo Mayor Sandra Eriguel personally received the awards for their respective municipalities. In short but meaningful speeches, the two mayors shared their literacy programs’ good practices. Tubungan, with a literacy rate of 98%, is Hall of Fame awardee for Outstanding Local Government Unit Class B category while Agoo, with a literacy rate of 99.3%, is Hall of Fame awardee for Outstanding Local Government Unit Class A category. The municipality of Agoo was also given recognition for being one of the two winners of the Republic of China-supported 2009 United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Confucius Literacy Awards. UNESCO awarded the Agoo Municipal Literacy Coordinating Council for its continuing education and lifelong learning programs which make available a vast array of education and training opportunities for the entire population of the municipality, including the neediest.

Other highlights of the Conference included plenary sessions for participants with known literacy advocates such as Miriam College Board of Trustees Chair and former Education Department Secretary Lourdes R. Quisumbing who talked about Literacy for Quality Education; UP College of Medicine professor Jaime Galvez Tan on Literacy for Improved Health Services; Dr. Angelina Galang of the Environmental Studies Institute of Miriam College on Literacy for Environmental Protection and Management; and Sultan Kudarat First District Congressman Sultan Pax Mangudadatu Alhadj on Literacy for Good Governance.

The plenary was followed by breakout session workshops of four groups, each with a specific topic taken from the plenary.

Source: PIA, by Lito Dar
October 3, 2009

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