Poor PISA scores a wake up call for PH education system – DepEd chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ dismal performance in reading, math and science in an assessment by an international agency is a wake up call for the country’s educational system, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Tuesday.
Results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed that Filipino students fared worst among 79 countries in reading comprehension and second-lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy.
“That is a wake-up call for us. We have to look at ourselves in relation to the global system of education,” Briones said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel.
She admitted that the schools’ curriculum and facilities are among the primary factors affecting the performance of Filipino students.
“It’s the curriculum itself. We have to continually review the curriculum in terms of relevance… Second is facilities. Not all have access to the Internet, especially schools in far-off islands so we are accelerating the provision of facilities,” Briones said.
Other factors affecting the country’s educational system, she said, are poverty and hunger, the government’s spending on education, as well as the class size.
She noted that countries that garnered low results on the PISA “tended to have high levels of poverty and even hunger.”
“The capacity to read, or to comprehend or to reason is linked to nutrition,” she said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) head also pointed out that other countries “have been catching up and spending so much more” than the Philippines for education.
“The global standard is at least five to six percent of the Gross Domestic Product and we are nowhere near that in terms of our budget even though if you say again that it’s the largest budget in the entire public finance system,” Briones said.
She assured that DepEd is taking the necessary actions to improve the country’s educational system.
“We are reviewing the books, we have to rebuild the laboratories, we have to catch up with disasters which regularly wreak havoc on our facilities and children have to be encouraged to read beyond the textbooks,” she said.
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