“We need to add two years to our basic education. Those who can afford pay up to fourteen years of schooling before university. Thus, their children are getting into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation. I want at least 12 years for our public school children to give them an even chance at succeeding.” – President Benigno S. Aquino III
• The poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of Filipino students. Many students who finish basic education do not possess sufficient mastery of basic competencies. One reason is that students do not get adequate instructional time or time on task. The National Achievement Test (NAT) for grade 6 in SY 2009-2010 passing rate is only 69.21%. Although this is already a 24% improvement over the SY 2005-2006 passing rate, further reforms are needed to achieve substantial improvement. The NAT for high school is 46.38% in SY 2009-2010, a slight decrease from 47.40% in SY 2008-2009.
• International tests results like 2003 TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematic and Science Study) rank the Philippines 34th out of 38 countries in HS II Math and 43rd out of 46 countries in HS II Science; for grade 4, the Philippines ranked 23rd out of 25 participating countries in both Math and Science.i In 2008, even with only the science high schools participating in the Advanced Mathematics category, the Philippines was ranked lowest
|Table 1 Philippine Average TIMSS Scores | | |Scores |International Average |Rank |Participating Countries | |2003 Results | |Grade 4 | |Science |332 |489 |23 |25 | |Mathematics |358 |495 |23 |25 | |HS 2 | |Science |377 |473 |43 |46 | |Mathematics |378 |466 |34 |38 | |2008 Results | |Advanced Mathematics |355 |500 |10 |10 | |Source: TIMMS, 2003 and 2008 |
• The current system also reinforces the misperception that basic education is just a preparatory step for higher education. For most parents, basic education is usually seen as a preparation for college education. Even this misperception falls short of expectations as most students usually have to take remedial and high school level classes in colleges and universities.
• The short duration of the basic education program also puts the millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially the professionals, and those who intend to study abroad at a disadvantage. Our graduates are not automatically recognized as professionals abroad. Filipinos face mutual recognition problem in other countries that view the 10-year education program as insufficient. The Philippines is the only country in Asia and among the three remaining countries in the world that has a...