Another irony on education: An indictment of the system
After the irony of teaching our neighboring countries on how to plant rice that ended up us as the ones importing rice from them, now there is another one, not on the aspect of agriculture but on education.
Filipinos are well-known as better English speakers compared to the citizens of our neighboring countries. We have lot of schools that teach English to foreigners such as Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, etcetera. The same reason led the call center companies to position their businesses here in the country.
But the sad news is that the Philippines ranks lowest out of 79 countries in a reading literacy assessment conducted by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental group based in Paris. The OECD administered the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam to 600,000 15-year-old students around the world.
The PISA results show that the Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang group from China topped the rankings after scoring higher than the OECD average in reading comprehension, math and science. Singapore got the second place while Macao ranked third.
The PISA results further show that the Philippines also performed badly in math and science subjects as it placed second to the last among the participating countries. This is the first time that the country took part in the PISA and the sad reality is uncovered.
The Department of Education should not take this result for granted. It should identify the factors that affect the poor performance of our students.
I just mention a few in relation to my experience, being a graduate of a public school. I observed that during my elementary days in Barangay Pomponan, Baybay, Leyte our teachers were very dedicated and passionate in teaching us. We had classes for the whole day.
Now, there many areas in the country even in a highly urbanized cities that the classes of students are only half-day because of lack of classrooms that can accommodate the growing population of students. In this arrangement, another set of students will use the same classroom in another half-day. So there are students assigned to appear in the morning only and the other set is in the afternoon.
On the number of teaching hours alone as a result of lack of classrooms, it is very glaring that the performance of our students will be affected. On this factor alone one can imagine how the performance of our students nowadays have deteriorated!
What is the root cause of this problem? Will it not go back to corruption? Why has government not solved the long time problem on lack of classrooms? If there are classrooms built, why are they damaged easily?
What about the teacher factor? Is the number of teachers enough? Do they have the expertise on their subjects? Have they focused on their job to teach? Are they not given additional works that would keep them busy on non-teaching jobs?
What about the factor on erroneous books? DepEd should address these problems. Fast.
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