Duterte welcomes World Bank apology, orders actual assessment of students' performance

Published July 12, 2021, 10:33 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has accepted the apology of the World Bank after its premature publication of a report on Filipino students’ academic abilities but said he wanted to see the actual and latest assessment of the students’ performance.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/ Malacañang)

Duterte made the statement after the World Bank apologized for publishing a report that showed that 80 percent of Filipino students do not possess the basic math and reading skills they should have based on their academic level.

In his pre-recorded public address on Monday, July 12, the President said he did not hold a grudge against the World Bank for their report but hoped the body would be more careful next time.

“I do not want to begrudge [the] World Bank but [these] international bodies working on the problems of the world should be very careful in their statistics,” he said.

“It is not good to commit a wrong, internationally. But good as any, we welcome their apology,” he added.

In its apology, the World Bank expressed deep regret for the said report which they published even before the Department of Education (DepEd) was given the chance to provide inputs on the performance of students.

Meanwhile, President Duterte commended Education Secretary Leonor Briones for calling out the World Bank on the issue, expressing confidence that the DepEd was already working on a new set of data to be submitted to the World Bank so that they can correct their figures and data inputs.

“I have no doubt the Department of Education will do everything it can to correct the misconception. I’m sure that the things we will provide to them (World Bank) will be the true and accurate situation in the Philippines,” he said.

The President likewise expressed interest in the actual assessment of the performance of Filipino students, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“For the sake of transparency and policy direction, we would like to know the latest assessment matrix of student performance and achievements, as well as the latest national data and figures in terms of learning outcomes, especially during the pandemic so we can identify which lapse should be addressed,” Duterte said.

Malacañang has expressed concern over the World Bank report that 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 in every five 15-year-old students do not have basic mathematical concepts like decimals and fractions that should have been mastered during their fifth grade in elementary school.