MANILA -- A group of statisticians called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to review its proposed statistics curriculum under the K-12 program, citing problems in its planned implementation.
In a statement posted by its current president, Jose Ramon Albert, the Philippine Statistical Association, Inc. (PSAI) listed down several issues that they asked the education department to consider prior the implementation of its new statistics curriculum.
Under the new curriculum, concepts in statistics are being proposed to be taught from grades 1 to 8, and grade 10. The subject would be culminated in the second semester Grade 11 Math course in statistics.
"We extol these efforts to improve statistical literacu among Filipino learners, so that they can become effective citizens in this age of ICT and Big Data," the group said in its statement.
As the country's sole scientific society of individuals and institutions "commited to the promotion of the proper use of statistics", the group pointed out some issues that might come up once the new curriculum is implemented.
PSAI pointed out that statistics is different from math, and despite using several mathematics tools, statistics "deals with uncertainty as well as inherent variability in data", concepts that even some teachers teaching statistics encounter.
"It is very likely that teachers of Grades 1-3, Grades 4-8 Math teachers, and Grade 11 Math teachers, who will be asked to teach Statistics throughout K-12 program, will face similar, if not more difficulties. These teachers (and moreso, our learners) cannot be expected to make the linkages about the role of uncertainty and variability in the statistical problem-solving process. Students will need not mere lectures but also, and more importantly, activities in learning Statistics concepts," it said.
The group also emphasized the importance of teacher training in statistics, which may not be enough given the proposed time frame of implementation of the new curriculum.
"Training a select set of teachers for two weeks who, in turn, will teach a cadre of Statistics teachers for another two weeks may not be sufficient given the challenge of learning the discipline."
PSAI found it problematic that the proposed second-semester Grade 11 Math course is "predicated on Grade 12 students requiring learning research methods", nothing that no statistics course in the country has been specifically designed as a prerequisite to research.
"The DepED may need to clarify whether the proposed curriculum in K-12 is aimed at having all learners develop skills and competencies in the actual conduct of research, or in the appreciation of research results. This clarification may help in scoping the coverage of materials to be taught in the Grade 11 course," the group added.
PSAI called on DepEd to participate in their annual conference on statistics to clarify with the statistics community its plans to implement the statistics curriculum under the K-12 program.
"We also hope that DepED bureaus and units of CHED and TESDA in charge of curriculum development can likewise join this conference in the pursuit of making Statistics taught and learned well in the K-12 program, as well as in college, and in technical vocational education."