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Learning crisis

Advocacy group Philippine Business for Education is pushing for a comprehensive set of reforms to address a learning crisis in the country.

“Our students, as reported by three international learning assessments, are ranked among the lowest in the world in terms of science, mathematics and reading competency. Filipino students scored low in skills needed to thrive in the 21st Century,” the group recently said.

“Compounding matters are issues of malnutrition and stunting, protracted school closures and distance learning, poor teacher quality and unequal access to learning materials that are all happening in the context of an economic recession and resource constraints brought about by the pandemic,” it added.

PBEd chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr. said a strong, multi-sectoral coalition is needed to push for education reforms and ensure that quality education becomes a top priority in the national development agenda.

“We are now sounding the alarm. The Philippine government must take the lead in drawing up and implementing plans for an education system that Filipino learners deserve,” he added.

The group outlined five urgent recommendations to reform the education system in the country, including addressing stunting and malnutrition among school children, providing higher budget for education, establishing an autonomous assessment agency, the creation of a National Teacher Education Scholarship program and a stronger implementation of mother tongue-based multilingual education.

Poor education is a crisis that needs to be taken seriously as it will affect the competitiveness of future generations of Filipinos. The solutions that have been suggested by various groups concerned with the state of learning in the country will take years to realize but the benefits can empower the next generation with the necessary tools to fuel sustainable progress and improve our country’s flagging competitiveness.*

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