Duterte approves program seeking to raise quality of education

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the plan of the Department of Education (DepEd) to raise the country's quality of education after the Philippines scored the lowest among 79 countries in reading comprehension in an assessment last year.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte, during the 46th Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, gave the go signal for the DepEd to implement its "Sulong EduKalidad" program which shall review and update the K-12 curriculum; improve the learning environment; upskill and reskill teachers; and engage stakeholders for support and collaboration.

These were approved by the President, Panelo said in a statement.

The K to 12 program, implemented during the Aquino government in 2012, overhauled the basic education curriculum in the country by adding two years of senior high school.

Grade 11 and 12 students are given the option to choose among four tracks -- academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports, and arts.

During the cabinet meeting, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said her agency is expected to evaluate the results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 after the Philippines ranked the lowest among 79 countries that took part in the assessment.

The assessment, conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), showed that the Philippines scored 340 points against the OECD average of 487.

Filipino students also ranked low in mathematics and science with 353 points and 357 points, respectively, against a 489 OECD average for both categories.

Prior to joining the assessment, Briones said the low ranking was expected, stressing that it was a necessary step to address the deficiency the country's education system.

The performance of Grade 6 students in the National Achievement Test (NAT) has been steadily declining.

Results of the 2018 NAT showed that the national average mean percentage score (MPS) in the Grade 6 NAT is 37.44, the weakest performance in the history of the standardized examination of the DepEd.

Briones said the purpose of joining the PISA was to establish a baseline for the purpose of measuring the development of education in the Philippines vis-A�-vis global standards.

She also pointed out that it is the first year that the Philippines joined the assessment as part of its reform plans on quality basic education.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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