FILIPINO STUDENTS fared poorly in a survey that ranks 79 participating economies according to their performance in reading, science and math.

Latest results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed the Philippines having the lowest mean score in reading comprehension at 340 points, below the survey average of 487 points.

Similarly, the Philippines came out second-lowest in science and math as it posted mean scores of 357 and 353, respectively, compared to the survey average of 489 points in both subjects.

In a statement, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that the PISA results, along with the results from the locally conducted National Achievement Test, reflect the “urgency” to address gaps in improving the quality of basic education in the country.

DepEd also noted its Sulong Edukalidad initiative, wherein it will implement “aggressive reforms” in the review and updating of the K-to-12 program, the improvement of learning facilities, the upskilling and reskilling of teachers and school heads, as well as the engagement of stakeholders for support and collaboration.

In a statement, the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said that the latest PISA result is an “opportunity for all sectors to come together to take a hard look at the quality of Philippine education, and to develop a collective action plan to improve the standards for teaching and learning.”

“We fully support the Philippines’ continued participation in international assessments, as these offer reliable and comparative metrics on how we can prepare our children to have a chance to succeed in an increasingly competitive world,” PBEd said.

In another statement, the Makati Business Club said: “We will answer its (PBEd’s) call for the private sector, civil society, and academia to work with the government on transformative solutions.”

PISA, which is administered worldwide to 15-year-old students, is designed to evaluate “the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems.”

This was the first time the Philippines joined the PISA since it was initiated in 2000. — Marissa Mae M. Ramos

PISA 2018 results