education in the Philippines

PH slides down to 27th in global English proficiency index

Bonz Magsambol
PH slides down to 27th in global English proficiency index
The Philippines' English proficiency level remains 'high' even though its rank is down by 7 places this year

The Philippines’ global English proficiency slid down to 27th place in the 2020 EF English Proficiency Index, according to the report by international education company Education First released this week.

The country’s rank dropped further down in the last 3 years based on the report: from 14th in 2018, 20th in 2019, and 27th in 2020, while it placed 13th in 2016, and 15th in 2017.

While the Philippines’ global rank is down by 7 places this year, its English proficiency remains “high.” The country has a score of 562 out of 700.

In Asia, the Philippines is behind Singapore, which has a score of 611 and is ranked 10th on the global index.

Globally, Netherlands topped the list, with a score of 652.

The English proficiency levels in the report range from “very low” to “very high.”

The ranking was based on the results of the English tests administered by Education First to 2.2 million adults from 100 countries and territories in 2019.

In April, an article by the think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said Senior High School students in the country struggled to write in English and this was particularly evident in research projects. (READ: Senior high school students struggle to write in English – report)

Why this matters

Due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, schools in the country shifted to distance learning – a mix of online classes and printed learning module – following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to suspend face-to-face classes until a COVID-19 becomes available.

Under the distance learning system, parents have an active role in guiding their children through modular lessons – which posed a problem for students who do not have anyone to facilitate learning at home, or whose parents are not capable of guiding them due to lack of knowledge. –

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.