When the Department of Education (DepEd) releases its basic education report at the end of this month, Senator Win Gatchalian expects an honest to goodness assessment, including concrete steps forward to address the crisis hounding the sector.
The DepEd is scheduled to present the Basic Education Report (BER) 2023 on January 30, which will give an overview on the state of basic education in the country. DepEd officials also said that they will present updates on the on-going review of the K to 12 curriculum.
According to Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, no less than an honest to goodness assessment is needed considering the challenges besetting the education sector, many of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged lack of face-to-face classes.
Gatchalian also pointed to the role of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) in tackling the country’s education crisis and proposing needed reforms. The EDCOM II, where Gatchalian serves as co-chairperson, is mandated to review the education sector’s performance and recommend reforms to boost Filipinos’ competitiveness. The Commission is set to start its national assessment this month.
“Upang matugunan natin ang krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon, kailangang kilalanin natin kung gaano kabigat ang mga hamong ating kinakaharap. Patuloy din nating isusulong ang mga kinakailangang reporma upang maiangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa at matugunan ang pinsalang dulot ng pandemya,” Gatchalian said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, international large-scale assessments have been showing that Filipino learners are struggling to master basic competencies. In the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Philippines ranked last out of 79 countries when it comes to Reading. The Philippines also ranked second to the last when it comes to Mathematics and Science. Results of the PISA further show that only one out of five learners aged 15 who took the exam reached the minimum proficiency level in each subject.
The World Bank’s simulation analysis of learning losses estimates that learning adjusted years of schooling (LAYS) will decrease from 7.5 years to around six years. This means that 12 years of basic education will be equivalent to only six years of effective schooling.
The World Bank also estimates that learning poverty in the Philippines is now at 90.9%. Learning poverty is defined as the percentage of children aged 10 who cannot read or understand a simple story.