APSA holds summit on Philippine education

Published January 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid


The recent PISA  (Program for International Student Assessment)  findings which showed that among 79 countries, we were way down the list – the lowest in reading, and second to the lowest in mathematics and science, was  a “wake-up call,” a reminder that we must undertake a serious look at our educational system.

Among the suggestions by Education Secretary Leonor Briones was that of using English or the first language as the medium of instruction in the first three years of basic education. This argument is shared by many, but as we know, the problem is more than language. Secretary Briones herself admits that our  students  lack the capacity to extrapolate. In other words, the capacity for synthesis, analysis, and reflection. This inadequacy can be traced to how they have been taught to use information.

Others put the blame on  lack of competent teachers who are able to facilitate the use of today’s  learning technologies and resources.

Too, there exists a perception –here and worldwide, that the status of teachers had eroded because of low incentives and rewards.  Teaching as a profession,  hasbeen losing its appeal.Only a few countries recognize the real worth of  teachers through recognition and rewards, and these are  Finland, South Korea, Singapore, and Bhutan. The latter’s civil service has placed teachers and health workers at the top of its salary scale.

We trust that before the next PISA, the country shall have done everything it could in finding solutions to this problem.

APSA,  the Asian Psychological Services Assessment, a private organization which is now on its 33rd year, will be holding a summit  on January 15 on  the theme, “Leveraging Data from Standards Based Assessment for Social Effectiveness and Social Development.”  Dr. Liberty Nolasco, Conference Chair says the event is timely for two reasons. One is that 2020 marks a cautionary milestone as   we have just crossed the line of a new decade, which means change, diversity, and uncertainty. The other is that the Philippine education sector today faces a steep challenge. As many know, the PISA, assessment has given the educator a major shake-up, as its three assessment areas, namely, reading mathematics, and science, are core literacy subjects.

As the summit concept paper notes, “underperformance is often linked to state neglect via underfunding of the education sector and manifested in input-oriented issues such as lack of classrooms, teachers, tools and equipment, and textbooks.

APSA seeks to redirect public attention to more targeted interventions through the summit where plenary speakers will present studies based on the best practices employed by the education leaders in delivering institutional objectives of schools for learners as well as in enlarging learners’ capability in fulfilling their leadersin utilizing assessment data which is the most underutilized tool for intervention in Philippine education at present.

Dr. Nolasco enjoins the public to take part in the event. Through this research summit, APSA has taken a step further away from profit objectives by creating a venue where solutions for education are examined with analytic tools

APSA is known for its pioneering work on standards based assessment and combines national and global standards in its assessment technology.   The summit provides an opportunity for collective external capacity to help schools build their own strengths using their own tools and resources for decision-making. Participants include school owners, school managers, teachers, academics, researchers, industrial practitioners and education advocate.

Dr. Rosemarie Salazar Clemena, APSA’s founding president, will be the keynote speaker. The first group of speakers will present findings on the plenary theme of school effectiveness; the second group, on a social development themes. Reactors will be asked to take a critical look of the study findings, offer alternative perspectives, and guide  participants in formulating further inquiry. At the end of the day, participants will be expected to arrive at a consensus on identifying priorities that can be rescaled or modeled for the education sector.”

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