Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey 2008
The 2008 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) is a national survey that gathers information on the basic and functional literacy rates, and the educational skills qualifications of the population. The 2008 FLEMMS is the fourth in a series of functional literacy surveys conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO). The previous rounds were conducted in 1989, 1994 and 2003.
FLEMMS is conducted in line with the government's thrust to promote education policies and programs aimed at eradicating illiteracy in the country. The survey provides bases for implementing necessary interventions to eradicate illiteracy, especially in depressed and underserved areas.
The 2008 FLEMMS was conducted to provide a quantitative framework that will serve as basis in the formulation of policies and programs on the improvement of literacy and education status of the population. Basically, the survey aims:
(1) to measure the simple literacy rate of the population;
(2) to measure functional literacy levels of the population; and
(3) to determine the education and skills qualifications of the population.
Specifically, the survey seeks to:
(1) to estimate the proportion of the population who are functionally literate and to determine their socio-economic characteristics;
(2) to determine the educational skills qualifications of the population in terms of formal schooling; and
(3) to determine the mass media exposure of the basic and functionally literate population.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of analysis
v1.0 Edited data, for internal use only
Seventeen (17) Administrative Regions:
National Capital Region (NCR)
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)
I - Ilocos
II - Cagayan Valley
III - Central Luzon
IVA - CALABARZON
IVB - MIMAROPA
V - Bicol
VI - Western Visayas
VII - Central Visayas
VIII - Eastern Visayas
IX - Zamboanga Peninsula
X - Northern Mindanao
XI - Davao
XII - SOCCSKSARGEN
XIII - Caraga
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
Unit of analysis
The survey covered all households and all household members 10 to 64 years old.
Producers and sponsors
Government of the Philippines
Department of Education
Literacy Coordinating Council
National Statistical Coordination Board
The 2008 FLEMMS is a sample survey designed to provide data representative of the country and its 17 administrative regions. The survey's sample design helps ensure this representativeness. The 2008 FLEMMS used the 2003 master sample (MS) created for household surveys on the basis of the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) results. For each region (domain) and stratum, a three-stage sampling scheme was used: the selection of primary sampling units (PSUs) for the first stage, of sample enumeration areas (EAs) for the second stage, and of sample housing units for the third stage. PSUs within a region were stratified based on the proportion of households living in housing units made of strong materials, proportion of households in the barangay engaged in agricultural activities and per capita income of the city/municipality.
As earlier mentioned, a three-stage sampling design was used in each stratum within a region. In the first stage, primary sampling units (PSUs) were selected with probability proportional to the number of households in the 2000 Census. PSUs consisted of a barangay or a group of contiguous barangays. In the second stage, in each sample PSU, EAs were selected with probability proportional to the number of households in 2000 Census. An EA is defined as an area with discernable boundaries consisting of approximately 350 contiguous households. In the third stage, from each sampled EA, housing units were selected using systematic sampling. For operational considerations, at most 30 housing units were selected per sample EA.
The entire MS was divided into four sub-samples or independent replicates, such as quarter samples contains one fourth of the PSUs found in one replicate; a half sample contains one-half of the PSUs in the two replicates. The 2008 FLEMMS used two replicates covering about 1,600 sample enumeration areas (EAs) and about 26,000 sample households nationwide. This number is deemed sufficient for generation of reliable estimates at the national and regional level.
Generally, all sample households in the sample housing units were interviewed. However, if there were more than three households residing in sample housing unit, three households were randomly selected with equal probability. These households were administered with the Household Questionnaire (FLEMMS Form 1). All members 10 to 64 years old in the sample households, regardless of educational attainment, were provided with the Individual Questionnaire (FLEMMS Form 2) - a self administered questionnaire.
Deviations from sample design
Out of 25,505 sample households in the 2008 FLEMMS, 21,280 households were valid, that is, households in housing units that were neither vacant nor demolished. Out of the 21,280 sample households which were eligible for interview, 20,150 households were successfully interviewed resulting in a response rate of around 95 percent. On the other hand, out of 69,471 eligible respondents (10 to 64 years old) for FLEMMS Form 2, 60,817 answered the questionnaire (FLEMMS Form 2) resulting in a response rate of rate of 88 percent.
The results presented in this report are weighted to ensure that the data are representative of the population of the Philippines and its regions. Sampling weights, or expansion factors, were applied to the data obtained from sample households in order to derive estimates for the larger population from which the sample households were selected for the purpose of survey interviewing. The weights or expansion factors applied to each sample household reflected the probability of the households being selected for the survey sample. More specifically, the basic sampling weights assigned were equal to the inverse of the joint probability of selection in the three stages of sample selection. Since the sample was self-weighting within regions (domains) or strata, each household in a particular stratum received the same weight, or raising factor.
The weights adjustments factor takes into account the sample EAs which were not enumerated and households which were not interviewed. The product of the basic weights and weights adjustment factor was used to obtain the preliminary weighted estimates of the total number of families.
In order to make the weighted estimate of the total number of persons by age group and sex consistent with the estimated number of persons by age group and sex as of November 2008, a final weight adjustment factor was used. The estimated number of persons by age group and sex, by region as of November 2008 was derived using 2000 Census-based population projection for the region. In each region, the final weight adjustment is equal to the ratio of the estimated number of persons by age group and sex as of November 2008 to preliminary weighted estimate of the total number of persons by age group and sex from the 2008 FLEMMS data.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
face-to-face [f2f] interview and self-administered questionnaire
Data collection supervision
In order to meet the target date of completion, about 293 interviewers and 141 field supervisors were utilized. These numbers translated into a supervisor-interviewers ratio of 1:2, which means that one District Statistics Officer (DSO)/Statistical Coordination Officer (SCO) supervised two interviewers, except when the number of sample EAs in the province was three or less. In which case, the DSO/SCO supervised one interviewer.
The Regional Directors (RDs) and Provincial Statistics Officers (PSOs), and the Statisticians from the Regional Offices, Provincial Offices and Central Office who served as trainers, and DSOs/SCOs designated as FLEMMS supervisors supervised during the field operation. The RDs, PSOs and Statisticians from Regional and Provincial Offices were each provided with five mandays for supervision. DSOs/SCOs who were designated to act as supervisors supervised for the entire duration of the field operation in their respective areas of assignment.
The RDs, PSOs and designated regional/provincial supervisors visited sample field enumeration areas within their jurisdiction and observed interviews to find out if instructions and field procedures are being followed.
Specifically, the following were done:
(1) Observed how the interview is being conducted. Errors noted were pointed out to the interviewer to avoid the same mistakes in succeeding interviews.
(2) Scrutinized the accomplished questionnaires for correctness, completeness and consistency of entries and return the problem questionnaires to the interviewer for verification of the incorrect entries.
(3) Conducted a random re-interview of households to ensure that the interviewer really visited and interviewed the sample households and eligible respondents.
(4) Helped solve problems encountered by interviewers such as refusals, callbacks and others.
(5) Visited addresses of vacant or demolished housing units to validate if they are really vacant or demolished;
(6) Ensured that expected outputs of the interviewers are met.
(7) Ensured that the interviewers who were trained are the ones conducting the interview.
The DSOs/SCOs designated as 2008 FLEMMS Supervisors performed the following:
(1) Obtained the list of sample housing units in the Provincial Office for each of the sample EAs in his/her jurisdiction. He/she assigned the EAs to his/her interviewers.
(2) Contacted local authorities to inform them about the survey and to obtain their support and cooperation.
(3) Planned for the most efficient routes/time of travel of the interviewers.
(4) Supervised the interviewers throughout the field operation and provide technical assistance to them.
(5) Observed interviews, conducts re-interviews of sample households using the prescribed form and compare the data in re-interview form with corresponding data in FLEMMS Form 1. He/she called the attention of the interviewers regarding his/her observations and provides solutions to problems or answers to queries if necessary.
(6) Scrutinized/reviewed accomplished questionnaires.
(7) Reported to the PSO any problem which requires the PSO's immediate attention.
(8) Accomplished the Progress Sheet and submitted to the Provincial Office at least twice during the duration of the field operation.
(9) Collected the accomplished questionnaires from the interviewers as well as their accomplishment reports.
Two questionnaires were used for the 2008 FLEMMS namely:
1. FLEMMS Form 1 - Household Questionnaire
2. FLEMMS Form 2 - Individual Self-Administered Questionnaire
FLEMMS Form 1 is a questionnaire that seeks to gather information on the following:
Section A. Demographic Characteristics
Section B. Literacy and Education
Section C. Employment Characteristics
Section D. Household Characteristics/Amenities
The Household Questionnaire was prepared in English. A Tagalog translation guide was also prepared.
FLEMMS Form 2, on the other hand, measure the functional literacy level of household members 10 to 64 years old regardless of their educational attainment.
The Individual Questionnaire, being a self-administered questionnaire, was translated into 26 dialects in order for the respondents to understand the questions asked. The dialects for FLEMMS Form 2 are listed below:
Data editing took place at a number of stages throughout the processing, including:
a) Office editing and coding
b) Manual Processing
c) Machine Processing
Other forms of data appraisal
A series of data quality tables were generated to review the quality of the data and include the following:
- Age distribution of the household population
- Highest grade completed versus current grade
- Highest grade completed versus age
- Current grade versus age
- Reason for not attending school versus highest grade completed
- Reason for not attending school versus current grade
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1. To make no copies of any files or portions of files to which s/he is granted access except those authorized by the data depositor.
2. Not to use any technique in an attempt to learn the identity of any person, establishment, or sampling unit not identified on public use data files.
3. To hold in strictest confidence the identification of any establishment or individual that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed in her/his analysis will be immediately brought to the attention of the data depositor.
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Disclaimer and copyrights
The NSO gives no warranty that the data are free from errors. Hence, the NSO shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage as a result of the client's manipulation or tabulation of the data.
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National Statistics Office-Demographic and Social Statistics Division