MANILA – Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has underscored the urgency of improving the standard of education in the country, citing the results of a global survey where the Philippines ranked lowest in Reading Comprehension and second to the lowest in both Math and Science.
Gatchalian, Senate education committee chairman, said the results of the 2018 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted among 600,000 students in 79 countries should serve as a guide to improve the quality of education in the country.
PISA is a triennial study that measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their knowledge and skills in Reading, Mathematics, and Science to meet real-life challenges.
“Bagama’t inaasahan natin ang mababang marka sa pag-aaral na ito, magsisilbi itong gabay upang iangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
According to Gatchalian, the pivot from access to quality would entail additional investments in quality learning materials and the capacity-building of teachers, as well as a more focused curriculum.
“Kung gagamitin natin ang datos at mga rekomendasyon sa pag-aaral na ito, mas mauunawaan natin kung ano ba ang mga suliranin sa ating sistema ng edukasyon at kung paano ba natin iaangat ang kalidad nito,” he added.
In line with this, Gatchalian said it is also important to ensure that the teachers are really capable of teaching.
“Mahalagang masiguro natin na mahuhusay ang ating mga guro lalo na’t sumasalamin sa kanila ang kakahayan ng mga mag-aaral,” he said.
Gatchalian also pointed out the need for stronger links between the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Aside from improving the curriculum, Gatchalian reiterated CHED’s role in ensuring that the next generation of teachers should be well-equipped to teach young Filipinos under the K to 12 program.
“Kung nais nating umangat ang katayuan natin sa PISA, kailangang pagtuunan natin ng pansin ang tamang pagpapatupad ng programang K to 12. Ngunit hindi natin ito gagawin dahil lang gusto nating tumaas ang marka natin sa PISA, ang pinakamahalagang usapin dito ay ang kakayahan at kahandaan ng ating mga mag-aaral upang magkaroon sila ng magandang kinabukasan,” Gatchalian said./PN