By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Amid continued criticisms on the implementation of the K to 12 program, Education Secretary Leonor Briones maintained that it is important that other sectors “stay abreast of the noteworthy improvements” in the education sector to enable them to contribute effectively and significantly.
With several reforms being put in place, Briones – in a statement issued earlier – said it is important that other sectors take note of the improvements in the education sector so they would be able to contribute to its recent achievements. She further underscored that “the challenges must not discount the many changes that have already happened.”
“I think this 2018, we cannot say that nothing happened…if we will just wait for the problems in the education sector to be addressed fully, we will be left behind by time and the demands in education,” Briones said in Filipino.
Determined in continuously improving the quality of Philippine education, Briones expressed that she “expects a measure of improvement” as the Philippines participated for the first time in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) on March 2 to 23, 2018.
“We cannot stay where we are,” the Secretary added as she recalled the country’s dismal ranking (third from the bottom) in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2003. She also conveyed the same credence in the K to 12 learners’ academic performance as determined by the National Achievement Test (NAT), the latest of which has been conducted in 2016 (results released in 2017) and in 2017 (results to be released next month).
Briones, on the other hand, encouraged stakeholders to try to embrace the changes and the current challenges in the education sector. “We are doing ourselves a disservice if we insist that we are failing in education,” she said. “We’re doing all that we can to correct whatever [needs to be corrected]…we are not saying we are perfect or your [critics’] statistics is perfect, but there are significant reforms and those have to be recognized,” she ended.