April 16, 2024

Community support to the students is the key to the high passing rate in private schools when it comes to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), according to the Department of Education. 

DepEd-Cordillera Director Estela Cariño said learners in private schools were already provided with complete resources and learning support which makes them ready for the assessment. 

But this is not the case with most students in public schools especially in the far-flung areas that lack learning resources. 

Cariño cited the two last-mile schools located in Sagpat, Kibungan, Benguet and another in Conner, Apayao, where learners had to borrow computer from nearby schools to practice on in preparation for the PISA. 

“Even if they will practice every day for a week they will not be good in using the computer, they have to get used to answering online,” Cariño said. 

In the Cordillera, most of the high-performing learners in the PISA came from private schools. Cariño said she was called twice in the Senate because Cordillera is among the top performing regions during the international assessment; the National Capital Region as first and Region 4A in second place. 

Based on the result of the 2022 PISA, the Philippines ranked sixth to the last in reading and Mathematics and third to the last in science among 81 countries.

The result is almost the same with the 2018 PISA where the country ranked low in the same three subjects.  

PISA is conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development online to evaluate the academic performance of 15-year-old students in reading, Mathematics, and Science every three years.

Cariño said the country is still below in high order skills or critical thinking application. 

She said that aside from the resources, the learners need support from parents and the local government units.  

“Some learners go to school hungry so what do you expect and the number of learners per class, the loading of teachers, the disturbance of classes anytime if there are community events, all these factors affect the learning of students,” Cariño said. 

She said the LGU needs to properly calendar events especially when they need DepEd learners to perform during town or provincial fiestas.  

In most cases, it is also the parents and the school that provides support to learners when they join performances for community celebrations.

She said the LGU needs to work with the DepEd to at least provide support to students during these gatherings. 

“Of course, we need to admit without the DepEd learners’ performances sometimes community celebrations are not lively, but the LGU needs to coordinate with the DepEd to properly calendar these events,” she said. 

With all the challenges, the DepEd is working on programs to strengthen literacy and numeracy for learners.   

One of these is the DepEd’s Matatag curriculum, which was piloted in some schools this school year, and will now be implemented for kindergarten, and grades one, four, and seven in all schools for the coming school year.

She said the curriculum will be gradually implemented to all levels in the coming years to address the learning gaps of the DepEd particularly in Math, Science and reading. – Ofelia C. Empian