Lobregat rolls out city’s literacy efforts in forum PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 June 2011 16:57

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday rolled out the city’s efforts in making education accessible to young Zamboangueños stressing that literacy is top priority of his administration.

Speaking before representatives of non-government organizations, local government units and other stakeholders attending the Department of Education’s Literacy Forum at the Western Mindanao State University, Mayor Lobregat said literacy can only be achieved through education related infrastructures and programs.

“To date, our infrastructure investments for education and other related endeavors to promote and develop literacy among our children have reached more than P600 million in terms of school buildings and other facilities constructed in public elementary and secondary schools throughout the city’s 98 barangays,” Lobregat told the Literacy Forum participants with Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo as guest.

One proof of the city’s zealousness in the promotion of literacy, according to the mayor, is the implementation of the Community Empowerment through Literacy for Social Opportunities (CELSO) Program in partnership with the Mag Basa Kita Foundation of former Senator Santanina Rasul. The program is targeting mothers in far-flung barangays who are unable to read and write.

In a bid to promote and preserve the city’s Chabacano language, Lobregat said the city government has just published a work book titled “El Premer Alfato Chabacano,” a copy of which he turned over to DepEd through Asst. Sec. Mateo.

The book will be officially launched this coming school year with five public elementary schools have been chosen to pilot the teaching Chabacano after the teachers involved in the program shall have undergone training.

In addition, he said the city is also maintaining the operation of 180 daycare centers through the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
All these and many other related programs, Lobregat stressed, have resulted in a high functional literacy rate of Zamboanga City at 94.6%, the highest in Western Mindanao, based on the 2009 Stat Watch of the National Statistical Coordination Board.

“If there are successes, however, there were failures as well. We admit that ours is not perfect. We admit that there are more things to be done and to be complied with to improve. What is important, we have done something and we did it the best way we can,” Lobregat said, adding that literacy goes beyond the person’s ability to read and write.

“It is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts,” he said of literacy. “It is the backbone of our socio-economic development.”

Guests and participants alike were impressed with the city government’s efforts and lauded Mayor Lobregat for initiating all education-related programs.
The one-day Literacy Forum was organized by DepEd’s Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC), a national policy-making, advisory and coordinating body that provides overall policy and program direction to the country’s effort to universalize literacy.

Also present during the forum were WMSU President Dr. Grace J. Rebollos, Dr. Norma L. Salcedo, who heads the LCC Secretariat; Dr. Malou Elago, newly-appointed vice president for academic affairs; mayors from Zamboanga del Sur municipalities, and representatives from DepEd regional office 9, NGOs, LGUs and other stakeholders. — Vic Larato