MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said it "acknowledges" the World Bank's apology on the "premature" publication of a controversial report on the Philippines' student learning assessments, which it earlier criticized.
In a statement, DepEd said it hopes that the World Bank's statement has affirmed the agency's efforts in improving the country's education sector.
"More than admitting to their oversight, we hope the WB statement has clearly reiterated the commitment of and concrete steps being taken by the Department, together with our partners, to resolve century-old issues plaguing the Philippine education system."
The study called "Improving Student Learning Outcomes and Well-Being in the Philippines: What Are International Assessments Telling Us? (Vol.2): Synthesis Report Presentation” claimed that 80 percent of of Filipino students fall below the minimum level of proficiency for their grade levels.
Education Sec. Leonor Briones earlier said the agency was expecting and "looking forward" for an apology from the World Bank after the country was "insulted and was shamed."
Briones said the data used was based on the 2019 Program for International Student Assessment, and that the World Bank did not follow protocol by providing an advanced copy of its report to the Philippine government.
This, she said, would allow DepEd for an opportunity to place its input on the report.
World Bank on Friday said it "deeply regretted" the report.
"The report on education was inadvertently published earlier than scheduled and before the Department of Education had enough chance to provide inputs."
WORLD BANK REACHED OUT TO DEPED
Sought for comment on the statement, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan confirmed that the financial agency already reached out to DepEd.
"We see their statement confirming the matters that were raised by the secretary and supported also by the Department of Finance and Malacañang," Malaluan said.
"We also confirm that they have reached out to the Department of Education to look into further opportunities and discussions on how, as development partners, we can address this challenge of quality," he added.
The official said there are two proposed programs with "possible financing from the World Bank" which is also in conjunction with the Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority.