San Nicolas town is Literacy Award search’s first runner-up

SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte, October 2 — This booming municipality in Ilocos Norte has emerged first runner-up in the 2012 National Literacy Award, municipal category A in the search for the Outstanding Local Government Units (LGUs) in the country.

The  town was among the top five contending LGUs in the country which landed in the shortlist bets for the National Literacy Award by the National Literacy Coordinating Council of the Department of Education.

Other winners include Plaridel, Bulacan, which bagged the championship; Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon, second place; Laak in Compostela Valley, third place and Calauan in Laguna, fourth place.

Reimedor D. Bumanglag, human resource management officer, said the municipality has been supportive to the literacy program that is being implemented not only for formal basic education but also for functional literacy programs.

“It improved in terms of the level of excellence on everything that pertains to literacy such as trainings, budgetary allocation to all undertakings and intensified partnership with all associations including non-governmental organizations” Bumanglag said.

Based on the municipality’s application record, out of the 31,972 municipality’s populace, 99.5 percent were considered as literate.

This makes .05 percent only or 123 residents of the municipality are considered as illiterate.

The municipality’s literacy and continuing education program utilizes its best practices, which enabled them to achieve considerable and efficient results in all aspects of literacy.

It provided livelihood and skills training, scholarship programs and funding to all every activity to make it easier and manageable for its implementation and realization.

“The town aims to eradicate illiteracy in basic education noting that one may be illiterate formally but one can be functionally literate,” added Bumanglag.

Dr. Fe Hidalgo, one of the search evaluators, said she was impressed by the municipality’s solid foundation of the literacy and continuing education endeavors.

“It was only here that I saw how strong the support of the community to the administration in the implementation of its programs, projects and activities,” said Hidalgo during the ocular inspection conducted in 24 barangays last June 26 – 28.

Aside from the ocular inspection,  all barangay officials and barangay folks were also interviewed to gather first-hand information on how the municipality had properly and efficiently implemented the literacy program.

Testimonies on how the programs helped and improved their quality of life were also given by the beneficiaries.

The awarding ceremony for the winners was held last September 19 at Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City during the city’s celebration of the literacy week.

It was the first time that San Nicolas joined the search for 2012 National Literacy Award. Earlier, it bagged the title in the regional search besting Tagudin, Ilocos Sur; Bauang in La Union and Mangaldan, Pangasinan.( Cherry Joy D. Garma)