The Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) is a survey conducted every five years by the former National Statistics Office (NSO), now a part of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The survey presents comprehensive statistics on the latest status of literacy, education, and mass media exposure of Filipinos. It brings together a wide range of information that serves as a guide for government policy makers, program planners, and decision makers in providing a much broader scope of action and more focused program intervention on the target beneficiaries of development plans. It is also very useful in private businesses and industries, as well as in academic researches and development projects. As of the fiscal year 2021, six (6) previous rounds were conducted mainly in 1989, 1994, 2003, 2008, 2013, and the most recent in 2019.
For three decades, the survey is conducted in line with the government’s thrust to promote education policies and programs aimed at eradicating illiteracy in the country. FLEMMS is designed to provide a quantitative framework that will serve as a basis in the formulation of policies and programs in the improvement of literacy and education status in the Philippines.
The highlights of FLEMMS 2019 results are its basic and functional literacy rates. Survey shows that 94 out of 100 Filipinos who are 5 years old and above are literate in 2019. In addition, 73 million Filipinos who are 10 years old and above are considered as functionally literate. An increase to 91.6% from 90.3% in 2013. National data results also found that NCR tops as the region with the highest basic and functional literacy rates, while BARMM comes down as the lowest in both criteria.
The latest conduct on FLEMMS was in 2019 which was prior to the start of the pandemic in 2020. In line with the final results conducted, many researchers and analysts are waiting for the final report on FLEMMS 2019 to determine the current status of education and literacy in the Philippines and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the country in general. The result on FLEMMS 2019 will also serve as a benchmark for the government and other stakeholders to create solutions in mitigating the effects brought by the pandemic. Other details of the 2019 FLEMMS results are contained in the video.
Terence Joshua S. Canlas