Mendoza: Pivot from access to quality

The Scribe’s Corner

JUST recently, the country was astounded with the result of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations intended to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15 year old learners’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading.

It was met by mixed reactions from netizens with some even putting blame to certain sectors on why the Philippines lagged behind in the deep cellar in the rankings.

According to its website, the DepEd decision to join PISA for the first time in its 2018 round is a step towards globalizing the quality of Philippine basic education. Together with the changing landscape of education, global standards are also changing, and the country needs to have a complete view of the gaps and areas for improvement.

Furthermore, DepEd leaders said that by joining PISA, the Department takes advantage of an assessment designed and constantly updated by education experts around the world to complement its own national assessment.

In addition, given the historical performance of our learners in the National Achievement Test (NAT), we expected that our learners will also not be able to perform well in PISA. But by participating in PISA, we will be able to establish our baseline in relation to global standards, and benchmark the effectiveness of our reforms moving forward. The PISA Results, along with our own assessments and studies, will aid our policy formulation, planning and programming the DepEd said.

The DepEd’s next step now is to move forward. The PISA 2018 results reflect the urgency of improving the quality of basic education in the Philippines. The Department will lead this national effort through “Sulong EduKalidad,” whereby it will implement aggressive reforms in four key areas #KITE (as highlighted in the message of Sec LMBriones https://www.deped.gov.ph/.../statement-on-the-philippines-ra.../):

(1) K to 12 curriculum review and updating

(2) Improvement of learning facilities

(3) Teachers and school heads’ upskilling and reskilling through a transformed professional development program; and

(4) Engagement of all stakeholders for support and collaboration.

The available report (https://www.deped.gov.ph/.../PISA-2018-Philippine-National-Re...) covers the cognitive results of the PISA 2018. Supplemental reports analyzing non-cognitive results will be released in the coming year to deepen understanding of student performance, and provide further insights for DepEd’s push for education quality.

This Corner hopes that with the timely program Sulong EduKalidad which is the pivoting from access to quality, it will be a good starting point to arrest the skidding performance and slowly if not steadily move upward the ladder in the international assessment and even in our own locally initiated gauge of student learning.


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