Use PISA to improve education in the Philippines

This petition made change with 26 supporters!

Poor education underlies nearly all other problems in the Philippines. If education improves, everything improves.

Unfortunately, education in the Philippines is in crisis, and since Department of Education (DepEd) refuses to participate in international assessments, the degree and scope of the crisis is unknown.

The last international assessments in the Philippines were completed in 1999 and 2003. In those years TIMSS compared the math and science skills of Filipino students with students from many other countries. The results showed that the performance of Filipinos students was appalling. These studies revealed how poor the quality of public education in the Philippines really is.

After receiving this bad news, DepEd did not embark on a campaign to do more extensive testing and improve its scores. Instead, it decided to stop participating in international assessments. Instead of fixing the problem, DepEd decided to hide it.

DepEd has an obligation to provide unbiased information to the public that shows how well – or poorly – our children are being educated. Other countries do this. They shine light on their education problems so that they can be solved. They want facts so that they can measure and improve.

The most reliable and comprehensive facts come from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This is a study conducted every three years involving half a million students from more than 60 countries around the world. It shows participating countries exactly how well – or how poorly – their students are being educated.

Since PISA started in 1997, the Philippines has never participated. Consequently, Filipinos can’t compare their education with their neighbors in Asia and other countries around the world. Those countries have the facts. We don’t

The worst-performing countries in PISA are Indonesia and Qatar. Yet, these countries are better off than Philippines. First, they know where they stand and can take steps to improve. And second, the TIMSS studies from 1999 and 2003 showed that the Philippines education is worse than Indonesia's.  We're just hiding by refusing to participate.

DepEd needs to have the courage to admit that it has a serious education problem. If it doesn't, it condemns our children to suffer in a terribly broken system. By failing to properly educate our children, DepEd robs them of their potential in life.

The scale of this problem must be made public for everyone to see. The government cannot be allowed to hide such an important fact. It must be held accountable. Filipinos must demand that DepEd participate in PISA and take corrective action based on the results.

The next PISA is scheduled for 2018. Ask Secretary of Education Bro. Luistro to publicly commit to participating in it.

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