Education in Philippines

PH lowest among 58 countries in math, science – global assessment

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 shows the Philippines scored ‘significantly lower’ than any other country that participated in grade 4 math and science assessments.

Filipino students lagged behind other countries in the international assessment for mathematics and science for grade 4, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 (TIMSS) revealed on Tuesday, December 8. The Philippines only scored 297 in mathematics and 249 in science, which are “significantly lower” than any other participating country. The country also scored the lowest among all 58 participating countries for both tests.

In mathematics, only 19% of Filipino students were on the Low benchmark, which means that they had “some basic mathematical knowledge,” while 81% did not even reach this level. “They can add, subtract, multiply, and divide one- and two-digit whole numbers. They can solve simple word problems. They have some knowledge of simple fractions and common geometric shapes. Students can read and complete simple bar graphs and tables,” the study said.

As for science, 13% of Filipino students were also on the Low benchmark, which means they had “limited understanding of scientific concepts and limited knowledge of foundational science facts,” while 87% did not even reach this level.

Prior to this assessment, the Philippines ranked in the low 70s in the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), placing 79th in reading, with an average of 340 against the 487 average.

Filipino students also ranked low in PISA for mathematics and science, with 353 points and 357 points, respectively, against the 489 OECD average for both categories. PISA is a student assessment of 15-year-old learners across 79 countries done by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In a press briefing on November 26, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the Philippines will join the 2022 (PISA), where it aims to improve on its dismal past performance.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones hopes that the country will improve its performance in the 2022 PISA, the second time that the Philippines will join the international student assessment.

Due to the continuing 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 vaccine 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. The pandemic has exposed the gaps in the Philippine education system evident in erroneous learning modules for distance learning.

Cited by Bonz Magsambol