By Wilnard Bacelonia
MANILA – Vice President Sara Z. Duterte assured the state of education in the Philippines, as reflected by the recent results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022, is being addressed by the Department of Education (DepEd).
In her video message during the PISA 2022 National Forum on Wednesday at Bulwagan ng Karunungan of the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City, Duterte said the result of the international assessment has actually provided them with valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the country’s education system.
“We have introduced the MATATAG Curriculum, implemented the national reading, math, and science programs, initiated the Catch-up Fridays for learners and teachers, expanded the teacher career progression, pushed for transparent educational programs and practices, and started digitalization among our schools,” said, Duterte who is also DepEd Secretary.
She rallied all stakeholders to join DepEd in addressing the issues on learning among Filipino children.
“We still need your support. We need every stakeholder to join us in this journey moving forward. We may approach the solution differently, but we all agree on the destination. Everyone’s efforts are counted and everyone is accountable for our children’s future,” Duterte said.
“I call on everyone to pull our efforts together for a more resilient MATATAG education system, an education system that aims to improve learning outcomes, prioritize student and teacher well-being, and promote accountability to close remaining disparities,” she added.
In a previous statement, Duterte admitted that DepEd is not expecting to receive good results from the PISA 2022.
PISA is one of the assessments by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.
The Philippines has been a participant of the international system assessment since 2018.
The PISA 2022, which focused on mathematics, was participated by 7,193 learners from 188 schools in 16 regions of the country just right after the height of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.
The Philippines ranked sixth from the lowest in both mathematics and reading, and third from the lowest in science out of 81 participating countries.
Not a failure
Basic Education panel chairpersons of both the Senate and the House of Representatives who attended the event, took the 2022 PISA results as a challenge instead of a failure.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said they are currently in discussions at the ongoing bicameral conference for the 2024 General Appropriations Act to decide on giving the DepEd’s more budget to further boost its learning recovery efforts.
“Nung may pandemic, ang treatment natin sa pandemic crisis was buhusan ng pondo para makaalis tayo. The same [with education]. Kung hindi natin bubuhusan to, babagal ang pag-alis natin sa education crisis (Our treatment in the pandemic crisis was to give adequate funds so we can move on. The same with education. If we will not provide the funds, our recovery from the education crisis will be slower),” Gatchalian said in an ambush interview.
He noted that the PISA 2022 was not done during the time of Vice President Duterte.
“Hindi tama yung pagsisisi nila kay Vice President Sara dahil yung pandemic hindi naman natin kontrolado yan at itong nakikita natin ngayon ay hindi naman time pa ni Vice President Sara. Time pa ito ng dating mga administration. You have to remember na ang education system natin ay 13 years. K to 12 tayo. So, yung tinuturo mo nung Kindergarten, ngayon mo lang makikita yung resulta (Blaming Vice President Sara is no right because the pandemic is out of anyone’s control and what we are seeing now is not in the of Vice President Sara. This is from previous administrations. You have to remember that our education system is 13 years. We use the K to 12. So, what you taught them when they were in Kindergarten can only produce the results now),” Gatchalian said.
Meanwhile, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said in his own perspective, he was happy when he saw the 2022 PISA results.
“These results prove that the DepEd, the education stakeholders, held the line during that time and here we are now. We have a MATATAG Curriculum, catch up Fridays, and we have many reforms in the pipeline. Everything is looking up. So, we have all the reasons to smile and to be confident that we are on our way towards that right direction,” Romulo said. (PNA)