Senator sounds alarm on deteriorating competence of students, teachers
Updated (03-07-2019, 4:25 p.m.)
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian disclosed on Wednesday the “alarming” state of the quality of education in the Philippines, particularly the deteriorating performance of students and teachers, which he blamed largely on the implementation of the K to12 program.
Gatchalian said that based on research, the results of the National Achievement Test (NAT) for Grace 6 and Grade 10 students in the last two years have deteriorated.
“Before, Grade 6 was averaging at least above 50 percent and then our Grade 10…it’s barely passing 50 percent. But in the last two school years, bumaba siya below 50 percent for both Grade 6 and 10,” he said during the hearing of the Senate committee on education.
In terms of proficiency, Gatchalian noted that the students did not do too well in Mathematics, English and Science.
Even the performance of teachers has deteriorated, Gatchalian lamented, citing a previous study of the World Bank.
“And we also looked at the passing rate (of) LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers). To my surprise, pababa nang pababa ang passing rate ng LET, ng elementary teachers. From 33 percent, ngayon 27 percent,” he said.
“In fact, mas madali pang maging abogado tsaka doctor kesa maging teacher ngayon,” said the senator.
Gatchalian likewise cited a survey conducted by a job recruitment website, Jobstreet, last year which showed 35 percent of employers not willing to hire K to 12 graduates while 41 percent were undecided.
The senator also mentioned reports that it supposedly takes three years for a high school graduate to be employed, while a college graduate has to wait a year.
“And these are indicators that our high school graduates are not ready to participate in the labor force,” he pointed out.
“And I think it’s quite alarming because we’ve allocated significant amounts of money to DepEd (Department of Education). Half a trillion pesos na nga binibigay natin pero the quality of our education, especially the performance of our students, is going down,” Gatchalian rued.
In an interview after the hearing, Gatchalian attributed the problem to the K-12 program.
“Malaking dahilan dito ay yung K-12 natin at dapat ayusin ang implementation, yung curriculum. At tingnan din kung yung curriculum ay tama at tama yung execution.”
(One major reason behind this is the K-12 program. The implementation and curriculum must be fixed. We have to make sure that the curriculum is right and implemented properly.)
In a separate statement on Thursday, Gatchalian clarified that “while the K to 12 may have had a part in the decline of scores, it is not the program itself that is problematic but rather the implementation and how the curriculum is taught.”
“Tulad ng sinabi ko kahapon, may connection ang K to 12 sa pagbaba ng performance ng ating mga estudyante at guro dahil hindi pa pulido ang implementation nito. Tuloy-tuloy ang ating implementation pero lumabas sa hearing kahapon na ang curriculum na dapat itinuturo sa K to 12 ay may malaking posibilidad na hindi naituturo ng maayos,” he said.
(Like what I said yesterday, there is a connection between the performance of our students and teachers because its implementation has not been refined. It was discussed in the hearing yesterday that there is a possibility that the the K-12 curriculum may not be taught properly.)
“Teachers who are supposed to teach K to 12 are not adequately prepared and are thus not fully competent in what they are teaching. Kaya kahit natuturuan ang mga bata, hindi pa rin nila napo-process ng tama ang curriculum kaya rin mababa ang nakukuha nilang score sa NAT (So even if we teach children, they cannot process the curriculum well so they get low NAT scores).”
Gatchalian vowed to continue to look for solutions to address the declining performance of students and to correct the “misalignment between what is being taught in the K to 12 program and the needs of the local job market.”/ gsg /ee