Among 79 participating countries, the Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), according to the results released Dec. 3, 2019. The Department of Education issued a statement on Dec. 4, 2019 in response to the results.
DepEd welcomes PISA results, recognizes 'gaps' in education quality
Ratziel San Juan ( - December 4, 2019 - 1:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education on Wednesday issued a statement on the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results released Tuesday, wherein the Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension and the second-lowest in mathematics and science.

“By participating in PISA, we will be able to establish our baseline in relation to global standards, and benchmark the effectiveness of our reforms moving forward. The PISA results, along with our own assessments and studies, will aid in policy formulation, planning, and programming,” the DepEd statement read.

PISA is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that examines students’ knowledge in reading, mathematics and science.

“With the PISA results also reflecting the learners’ performance in the National Achievement Test, DepEd recognizes the urgency of addressing issues and gaps in attaining the quality of basic education in the Philippines,” the statement read.

The department said it will take measures to attain quality basic education by launching the “Sulong EduKalidad” which involves reforms in four key areas:

(1) K to 12 review and updating
(2) Improvement of learning facilities
(3) Teachers and school heads’ upskilling and reskilling through a transformed professional development program and
(4) Engagement of all stakeholders for support and collaboration.

“We envision that no Filipino learners should be left behind and it takes a nation to educate a child. Hence, DepEd calls the entire nation to take active involvement, cooperation, and collaboration in advancing the quality of basic education in the Philippines,” the statement read.

PISA 2018 results

“The PISA results...puts in even sharper focus our need to address quality in basic education,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said at Tuesday's Sulong EduKalidad launch.

Among 79 participating countries and economies, the Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension for both boys and girls in the PISA 2018, according to the results released Tuesday.

Reading was the main subject assessed among 15-year-old students in the 2018 PISA. The Philippines had an average reading score of 340, more than 200 points below China (555) and more than 100 points less than the OECD average (487).

The Philippines also placed the second-lowest in mathematics (353, compared to the OECD average of 489), along with Panama and science (357, compared to the OECD average of 483). Only the Dominican Republic scored lower in these categories.

“Results from PISA indicate the quality and equity of learning outcomes attained around the world, and allow educators and policymakers to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries,” a post on the OECD website reads.

Socio-economic gaps

According to the PISA 2018 profile of the Philippines, socio-economic status accounts for 18% of the variance in reading performance in the country, compared to the OECD average of 12%.

The country has the largest percentage of low performers in reading among socio-economically disadvantaged students.

The profile noted that average class sizes of 15-year-old students in the Philippines are the largest, and the ratio of students to teaching staff in socio-economically disadvantaged schools is the highest.

The Philippines also had the highest percentage of students reporting being bullied at least a few times a month.

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