Duterte OKs ‘Sulong Edukalidad’ program
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has approved a program that seeks to review the K-12 program and enhance the skills of teachers after the Philippines got low scores in an international study that gauged students’ knowledge in reading, science and mathematics.

The results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) was one of the topics discussed during the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday, according to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo. 

The study, which covered 79 countries and was conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, revealed that the Philippines’ average reading score was 340, way lower than the OECD average of 487. The Philippines also got the second lowest score in mathematics along with Panama (353) and in science (357).

Panelo said Education Secretary Leonor Briones had already expected an unfavorable result even before the Philippines joined the assessment. 

“While the usual critics jumped on the issue when the results were published, she explained that her purpose for joining the PISA was to establish a baseline for the purpose of measuring the development of education in the Philippines vis-à-vis global standards,” Panelo said in a statement issued yesterday.

“In this way, per Secretary Briones, they would be able to evaluate the results and implement corrective measures to address the deficiency of our education system,” he added. 

To address the problem, the Department of Education will launch the “Sulong Edukalidad” which will review and update the K-12 curriculum, improve the learning environment, upskill and reskill teachers, and work with stakeholders for support and collaboration. 

“These were approved by the President,” Panelo said.

Last month, Panelo said the Philippines’ participation in PISA is part of the administration’s quality basic education reform plan.

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