Date Published:
Oct 25, 2021
Policy Notes
Focus Area(s):
PN 2021-10

Basic literacy is nearly universal in the Philippines, according to data from the 2015 Population Census. However, underlying issues such as gender disparity, geographical location, socioeconomic status, and digital divide are concomitant to literacy gaps, especially among children. This Policy Note examines several nationally representative surveys measuring literacy. It finds that both basic and functional literacy data do not fully capture the continuum of literacy concepts. Likewise, there are biases in reported basic literacy versus tested skills. Thus, the study recommends conducting diagnostic assessments to measure functional literacy better. Moreover, it suggests designing improved policies to vigorously address persisting disparities in literacy and school participation between boys and girls and across regions. Lastly, the study urges policymakers and stakeholders to work hand in hand on improving Filipinos’ literacy, numeracy, and digital competencies.


This publication has been cited 4 times

In the Media
  1. Ordinario, Cai. 2021. PIDS study pushes new tack to improve Pinoy literacy, numeracy, digital skills. BusinessMirror.
  2. The Daily Tribune. 2024. ‘Digital is for all ages’: Ernest Cu urges seniors to go digital. The Daily Tribune.
  3. The Philippine Star . 2024. Ernest Cu urges seniors to go digital. The Philippine Star.
  4. Yalao, Khriscielle. 2024. Telco tells seniors: Don't fear tech. Manila Bulletin.

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