education in the Philippines

PH still among lowest in math, science, reading in global student assessment

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PH still among lowest in math, science, reading in global student assessment

SCHOOl. In this file photo, additional electric fans are placed inside classrooms at the Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila, to ease extreme heat experienced by students during summer months, on April 24, 2023.

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The Philippines ranked 77th out of 81 countries globally in the student assessment conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for 15-year-old learners

MANILA, Philippines — Once again, the Philippines ended up among the countries which produced the lowest proficiency for young learners in reading, mathematics, and science, as indicated by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 rankings.

The Philippines ranked 77th out of 81 countries globally in the student assessment conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for 15-year-old learners.

The results showed that the Philippines scored less than the OECD average in mathematics, reading, and science. Average 2022 results were about the same as in 2018 in mathematics, reading, and science.

Photo from OECD

The average mathematics score for 15-year-olds in the Philippines was 355 points, significantly below the global average of 472 points.

Although the 2022 score increased by 2 points from the national average of 353 points in PISA 2018, the country remained among the lowest-ranked out of 81 participating countries and economies in mathematics.

Specifically, only 16% of Filipino students achieved a proficiency level of at least Level 2 in mathematics, which was lower than the average across OECD countries (69% OECD average). Almost no Filipino student attained Level 5 or 6 in the PISA mathematics test.

The reading literacy score in the Philippines increased from 340 points in PISA 2018 to 347 points in PISA 2022 but still remained way below the global average reading score of 476 points.

In science, the country’s average performance was 356 points, ranking third to last globally in mean science performance among participating countries, and still lower than the OECD average of 485 points.

With the results, OECD said “policymakers and educators in the Philippines can learn from other countries’ policies and practices.”

‘Not expecting good results’

In 2020, former Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones expressed hope that the country would improve its performance in the 2022 PISA.

“We’re not thinking of any specific rank at this time. What we are looking forward to is an improvement in the ranking of the Philippines,” Briones said. (READ: Philippines eyes better ranking in 2022 international student assessment program)

However, ahead of the 2022 PISA results, the education department under the new leadership of Vice President Sara Duterte said it ‘is not expecting to see high scores.’

In a CNN Philippines interview last month, Michael Poa, spokesperson for DepEd, said they asked to reallocate P150 million from confidential funds to the National Learning Recovery Program (NLRP).

This move was aimed at enhancing students’ reading, math, and science skills, aligning with subjects covered by PISA and other global assessments.

“Right now, we’re really focused on learning recovery. And that is why we requested that if there were realignments to be made, it should be realigned to the NLRP,” Poa said. 

The objective of the National Learning Recovery Program (NLRP) is to close learning gaps and assist K to 12 learners in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide in attaining learning standards.

Conducted every three years, PISA assesses the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students around the globe in reading, mathematics, and science. The Philippines has participated in PISA for the first time in 2018. – Jezreel Ines/Rappler.com

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