PASAY CITY, February 18, 2020 — As the Philippine government continues to reflect on the 2018 Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) results, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reminded stakeholders that the country’s participation was meant to prioritize introducing reforms in the education system.
Secretary Briones emphasized that the government must use the PISA results beyond the rankings to evaluate the situation and inject necessary reforms during the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture hearing on the PISA results on Thursday.
“If we introduce reforms, it will not necessarily because we want to raise our rankings in PISA, it is because we care about the future of our 27.2 million learners and the future of this country. We should not fall into a trap of implementing special programs in order to [just] rank highly,” Briones said.
“The purpose of education is not ranking. But ranking in international assessment is useful because we see ourselves to the mirror of global standard. We must face the challenges that confront education for the country, for the future, for our learners, and not to [attain] rank number one,” the DepEd chief added.
The Department has recently implemented key reforms, including the review and updating of the K to 12 curriculum. According to Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instructions Diosdado San Antonio, the complete results of the review will be available on March and a transition curriculum could be implemented in the field as early as the next school year.
Briones, on her part, started sitting down with officials and teachers of top performing public schools nationwide in PISA to gain additional insights on their best practices and further contribute in enhancing the curriculum. Last January 31, she visited Baguio City National High School in Benguet, which earned the distinction of getting the best Reading score in the country.
“They [top performing schools] are not all in NCR, you have in Baguio, in the Visayas, you have in Bicol and Mindanao. In spite of all the constraints, they are performing well. There must be something happening where they are and we want to learn from them,” Briones said.
Presided by Committee chairperson Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the Senate hearing also allowed various education stakeholders, including public school teachers, to voice out their insights to further strategize educational reforms.
“What is enlightening now is we know where we are, we are doing something, it’s not business as usual and we acknowledge that we have a lot of work to do,” Sen. Gatchalian concluded.