By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said President Duterte has approved the measures being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) to uplift the quality of education in the country after it was reported last year that Filipino students scored the lowest among 79 countries in reading comprehension.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte, at the 46th Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday, backed the DepEd’s “SULONG EduKALIDAD” program that will review and update the K-12 curriculum, improve the learning environment, upskill and reskill teachers, and engage stakeholders for support and collaboration.
In December, inter-government group Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed that the Philippines performed the poorest out of 79 countries in a reading literacy assessment administered to 600,000 15-year-old students around the world in 2018.
Filipino students also scored poorly in math and science with a mean of 353 and 336 points, respectively. The OECD average for math and science are both 489 points. The Philippines was ranked second to the last in both subject areas, next to the Dominican Republic.
Reading was the main subject assessed among 15-year-old students in the 2018 PISA. The Philippines had an average reading score of 340, more than 100 points less than the average of 487.
During the said Cabinet meeting, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they were already expecting an unfavorable result when she decided to join the PISA but said it was a necessary step.
“She explained that her purpose for joining the PISA was to establish a baseline for the purpose of measuring the development of education in the Philippines vis-à-vis global standards,” Panelo said.
“In this way, per Secretary Briones, they would be able to evaluate the results and implement corrective measures to address the deficiency of our education system,” he added.
The PISA 2018 profile of the Philippines noted that the country has the largest percentage of low performers in reading among socio-economically disadvantaged students.
It also revealed that the Philippines also had the highest percentage of students reporting being bullied at least a few times a month.