Malacañang expressed alarm over the World Bank report that showed that 80 percent of Filipino students do not know what they should know based on their current academic level.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the World Bank report showed that one in every four Grade 5 students does not have the mathematics and reading skills for second and third graders.
The same report showed that four out of every five 15-year-old students do not know basic mathematic concepts like decimals and fractions that should have been mastered during their fifth grade in elementary school.
In his press briefing on Thursday, July 1, Roque recognized that the report was indeed a cause for concern.
“That is very disturbing po and very alarming,” he said.
However, Roque assured the public that the Department of Education (DepEd) will be undertaking measures to address the situation.
“I’m sure Secretary [Leonor] Briones and her team at the Department of Education will sit down and study, as well as discuss ways forward upon receiving this World Bank report,” he said.
“‘Wag po kayong mag-alala, pag-aaralan po mabuti natin kung ano yung sinasabi ng report at titignan po natin kung paano natin mababago ang ating curriculum lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya (Don’t worry, we will look into the report and look for ways how we can change the curriculum especially during the pandemic),” he added.
According to the Palace official, DepEd has been innovating since the country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are on blended learning po. We utilize modules, TV, radio, as well as computer-aided forms of educational material,” Roque said.
“I’m sure the process of adapting to the new normal continues and the Department of Education will continue to introduce innovations,” he added.
However, the World Bank report pointed out that the Philippines’ problem started even before the pandemic.
“There is a crisis in education—which started pre-COVID-19, but will have been made worse by COVID-19,” it said.
The report showed that only 10 to 22 percent of Grades 4, 5, and 9 students in the country scored “at or above minimum proficiency.”
Meanwhile, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) found that Grade 4 Filipino students were frequently exposed to bullying. The group showed that 45 percent of students in the said grade level reported weekly bullying in their schools.
The Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) showed that two of every five 15-year-old students said they had been “frequently bullied.”