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Student assessment: Philippines still in bottom 10

MANILA, Philippines — For the second straight assessment, the Philippines landed in the bottom 10 out of 81 countries in reading comprehension, mathematics and science and showed minimal improvement, results of the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test revealed.

After being ranked the lowest out of 79 participating countries in 2018 in reading comprehension, the Philippines was ranked 76th out of 81 countries for 2022.

Indicators of the test, however, showed that despite moving up the rank, the performance of top-performing students (TPS) in the country did not go up in percentage points, while low-performing students (LPS) registered a 4.3 percent decline in reading comprehension proficiency levels.

The Philippines placed third-lowest in science after being ranked second-lowest previously, with TPS proficiency moving up by 0.1 percent since 2018 and LPS dropping by 0.7 percent.

In mathematics, the country ranked sixth lowest after being the second-lowest in 2018, with indicators stating no percentage hike among TPS and an improvement of 3.3 percentage points for LPS.

Overall, the Philippines achieved a 2.2 percentage point hike in mathematics from 2018 to 2022, 6.9 percent in reading comprehension and a 0.8-percent drop in science proficiency.

The PISA, developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

This year’s PISA is the first large-scale study on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected students, OECD secretary-general Mathias Cormann said at a press conference.

“Yet the decline of performance in all three fields measured can only be partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scores in reading, science and math have already been falling prior to the 2018,” Cormann added.

Today, the Department of Education will hold a PISA national forum at its central office, where its officials are expected to address the dismal performance of the Philippines last year.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has implemented sweeping reforms to improve students’