Students’ poor reading grasp a reality—Palace

The poor reading comprehension of Filipino students is a “reality” that must be recognized by the Philippines to improve its educational system, Malacañang said Thursday.

Filipino students ranked last among 79 countries in a global survey of reading comprehension, a result that the Palace opted to view in a “constructive” manner, according to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

“Our government’s joining in this assessment program signifies that this administration is unafraid to open the eyes of the Filipino

people to the reality in order for us to ascertain what steps to undertake so we can perform better in the aspect of education,” he said.

In related developments:

• Education Secretary Leonor Briones says she will further look into the effects of the choice of language on test performance as she acknowledged the need to strengthen the teaching and learning of English.

“Does the choice of language affect test performance? Reading in English is clearly a weakness of our learners, and this may also affect the performance of our learners in Science and Math as the language of instruction and testing in later grades is English,” Briones said at the launch of “Sulong Edukalidad” on Wednesday in Quezon City.

• The low ranking of the Philippines in the Program for International Student Assessment or PISA is rooted in hunger among Filipino children,” Senator Francis Pangilinan said Friday. 

“It is our duty to ensure that all Filipinos have affordable and enough food for all Filipinos. That’s what it means to being food secure,” said the former Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.

*A neophyte lawmaker on Friday sought a congressional investigation into the low quality of education in the Philippines.

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo raised the call following the low ranking received by the Philippines in PISA.

“We should pay attention to what the results of the PISA says. For me, they are indicative that our children are not prepared for tomorrow,” Castelo, an education advocate, said.

*If a congresswoman from Laguna had her way, public school teachers would no longer be required to perform administrative duties in addition to their academic loads. 

“The time has come to put an end to the administrative work overload of teachers so they can focus on teaching, professional advancement, and work-life balance,” said Biñan City Rep. Marlyn  Alonte, who filed House Bill 5562 or the proposed Public Schools Administration Rationalization and Transparency Act.

Over 600,000 students around the age of 15 from 79 countries joined PISA in 2018.

Filipino students got a rating of 340 points in the survey, which is lower than the average 487 points. The majority of the Filipinos aged 15 are in Grade 9.

Panelo said the Philippines joined the assessment as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Quality Basic Education Reform Plan.

He said the government was working to address gaps in the education sector.

“Our education officials are on the right track as we address the issues and gaps in the basic education sector,” Panelo said. 

“These include a continuing review of the K-to-12 program, improving our students’ learning facilities and retooling the knowledge and skills of our teachers.” With PNA

Topics: poor reading comprehension , educational system , Salvador Panelo , Public Schools Administration Rationalization and Transparency Act
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