Angara Wants Math, Science Education Elevated

Manila Bulletin, February 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Angara Wants Math, Science Education Elevated


Senator Juan Edgardo Angara is urging the government to now shift its focus from solving classroom backlog to elevating math and science education.

Angara said the government should bring up the quality of math and science teaching in the country where most students grapple with low test scores, lack of science laboratories and overall poor global ranking.

Math and Science, he pointed out, are two subjects that remain the building blocks of a strong national economy.

"Both China and the United States are planting the seeds of a prosperous future by investing heavily on the math and science education of their seven-year-olds," Angara said.

"While there is a quantum leap in math and science education funding during the Aquino administration, as proven, for example, by this year's P2.6 billion allotment for math and science tool kits for elementary schools, much remains to be done," Angara said.

The senator said that out of 139 countries, the Philippines ranked 112th in the Global Competitiveness Report in 2010-2011 and 115th out of 142 countries in 2011 and 2012 in terms of quality of science and education.

The Philippines also placed 41st in science and 42nd in math among 45 countries in the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, a quadrennial international assessment of math and science skills among primary and secondary schools.

The global ranking is no surprise given the fact that local performance in Math and Science is low, he said.

For instance, Angara said the Average National Achievement Test (NAT) scores on math for Grade 3 students showed a drop from 62.8 percent in 2007-2008 to 59.9 percent in 2011-2012. Scores in Science also dipped from 56.1 percent to 55.1 percent.

NAT performance of high schools in Math also fell from 50.7 percent in 2007-2008 to 46.3 percent in 2011-2012.

However, Grade 6 students registered an increase in test scores, from 51.5 percent to 66.1 percent in science, and from 60.2 percent to 66.4 percent in math during the same periods.

Despite lowering the bar, the cut-off score in math, only one-fourth of schools hurdled the 75 percent passing rate.

Nonetheless, Angara said the Philippines got what it takes "to arrest the drop, reverse the trend and even get ahead. …

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