The problem with DepEd | Philstar.com



In fact, the problem stems from the Duterte administration. Malacanang, DepEd and DOF managed to intimidate the World Bank into removing the report on our failing education sector from its website and apologizing.

It won’t help. They say the country has been ashamed. They demanded an apology from the World Bank. They claim that the data used by the World Bank is dated, but they have not offered new data to disprove the WB report.

Pathetic. Yan ang nakakahiya. They must shake their heads in disbelief and disgust at the World Bank. Deputy Secretary Briones, Harry Roque and sadly even Sonny Dominguez deny the obvious.

According to news reports, the DOF said Dominguez told the World Bank that the report “does not reflect current realities” and “has the effect of misleading the public and causing undue risk to reputation. of the Philippine education sector “.

Come on, Sec Sonny. You are better than that. So what is the current reality? Show us some fresh data. Certainly, things have not improved enough between now and the period covered by the World Bank data.

The World Bank owes the Duterte government no excuse for doing its job. It is the Duterte administration that owes the Filipino public an apology for being flayed for a problem they neglected and which is now in crisis.

In fairness to the Duterte administration, the deterioration of our education sector has occurred in several administrations from the Marcos era to EDSA administrations until today. The Duterte administration should not bear all the blame.

But the first step in solving a problem is to recognize that there is one. Instead of lambasting the World Bank for an alleged breach of protocol, Secretary Briones should have admitted we were in deep shit and urged all segments of society to come together to help deal with the crisis.

The problem with the DepEd is that it’s in denial. DepEd shouldn’t be. DepEd knows there is a serious problem because it has done standardized tests called National Pass Tests almost every year in basic, public and private education.

But DepEd does not make test results public to hold school systems accountable. This is because they don’t even share the test results with a government think tank that does policy research to help with governance.

Only international tests like PISA and TIMSS make their data public and DepEd hates that. They have threatened to stop cooperating with international testing because they know how bad the results will be.

To the credit of the current education leaders, they decided to participate in PISA in 2018, our first time, and resumed their participation in TIMSS in 2019. The last time we participated in TIMSS was in 2003. DepEd should be required by law to participate, let us know how well or how bad we are.

I understand the think tank researchers begged DepEd for test data. They argue that full disclosure of school performance is in the public interest, but they have failed to convince DepEd. DepEd’s excuse for not sharing test data is privacy law.

This is not a valid objection. Researchers are requesting anonymized data to help them better understand the performance of our school system. Anonymized test results do not violate privacy law and cannot be treated as state secrets.

I am told that DepEd emphasizes regional or national tables, which researchers believe are not very useful for analyzing school performance.

“It is relatively easy to get the characteristics of the school (enrollment, class size, number of teachers, classrooms, desks, textbooks), but not the test results,” someone commented. ‘one in one of my Viber groups.

Students in public and private schools take the same tests. Students in independent private schools in urban areas scored higher on PISA, and the performance gap with public schools is significant.

Students in independent private schools outperform public school students by 60 points in reading, 52 points in math and 54 points in science. Independent private schools are those that receive less than 50 percent of core funding from government agencies.

Comparing the reading skills of 15 year olds – level 2 and above, it is bad across the board. But there is a higher percentage of 15-year-olds from independent private schools who meet global skills than those in public and private schools, but dependent on the government.

The problem with DepEd is that it is a big, heavy bureaucracy that seems to have forgotten its mission to educate our children. They are more concerned with their bureaucratic procedures and the money to be made by producing textbooks and learning modules that are not very good.

It is regrettable that education is not a privileged topic of discussion in public forums. Maybe it’s because most of the people who run our government don’t really care about the public school system. Their children go to private schools and so do most of their friends.

So, another Viber friend observed, the public school system, which is usually not an electoral issue, is an afterthought of politics. Ganyan na talaga yan.

But it hasn’t always been this bad. My father and his generation enjoyed a good public education from the early to mid 1900s. But like everything our post-independence government touched, it deteriorated over the years our government was run as hell by the geniuses we elect.

Here are some disturbing statistics: the overall average pass rate for the Professional Teacher Licensure Examination (BLEPT) from 2009 to 2019 is 28% for elementary and 37% for secondary; in middle school, students progress despite a poor mastery (only 1% mastery of mathematics, only 3% mastery of English, only 1% mastery of science; only 13% mastery of Filipino, etc.).

Is it okay for us that most of our young people have nothing to look forward to other than jobs as housekeepers, construction workers and ship crew members? This is what it will be unless we work double, triple time, to improve results through good public education.

The future of this country depends on a well-educated future generation. Right now, that future looks bleak.

Boo Chanco’s email address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @boochanco


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