Education system needs improvement, says PIDS

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Education system needs improvement, says PIDS
This photo shows members of EDCOM 2 during their learning visit to various TVET centers.

MANILA, Philippines — State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) is urging the government to invest in remedial programs for lagging students and leverage technology to improve the quality of education in the country.

PIDS president Aniceto Orbeta Jr. and senior research fellow Michael Abrigo said in a policy titled “Basic education: Quality is the ‘now’ frontier” recent international benchmarking exercises have shown schooling quality remains a challenge.

They noted that more public and private investments have been poured into child education and improvements in basic education attendance have been seen in the last three decades.

“Addressing current basic education sector challenges requires increased investment while ensuring these resources are utilized wisely and consistently,” the authors said.

Among the PIDS’s recommendations is for the government to invest in remedial programs.

“A great majority of students have below-minimum proficiency levels. This reality calls for a systematic remedial program to improve student performance, especially for those lagging,” the authors added.

According to the authors, interventions that recognize differences in student abilities and learning stages, as well as current learning levels are proven to be both effective and scalable.

They also recommended investing in technology for education.

“It must be underscored, however, that the better use of technology is not to mimic passive learning through lectures but to deliver content that promotes learner-centered education, increases interaction between teachers and learners, and enables greater learners’ control of their education,” the authors said.

In addition, the authors said the government should consider strengthening private school participation by expanding programs being implemented with the private sector.

They also said the government should address implementation issues of good education programs instead of prematurely reversing them.

This, as weaknesses in implementation do not necessarily mean the program design has failed.

“A program should be terminated only when the expected results are consistently not achieved despite proper implementation,” they said.

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