MANILA — A lawmaker is proposing reducing subjects for grades 1 to 3 to ensure students obtain quality education.
According to Pasig City Lone District Rep. Roman Romulo, the Department of Education should consider limiting the subjects to reading, mathematics, and GMRC or good manners and right conduct for these grade levels.
"From grades 1 to 3, we have about 6 to 7 subjects. I think we really should reduce that," he told ANC's "Headstart" on Monday.
"Make sure that the student knows how to read and comprehend what he's reading, make sure that mathematics is there and of course, GMRC," added Romulo, chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture.
Romulo made the remark after Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte vowed in a Senate hearing to improve the country's quality of education.
In wanting the grade school children to learn more, Romulo said, "We congested the curriculum too much".
The Department of Education in 2020 already reduced learning competencies or the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes that students need to demonstrate in every lesson or learning activity. This was prompted by a review of the basic education curriculum.
A World Bank report found that 9 in 10 Filipino children aged 10 cannot read. According to the report released in November 2021, the Philippines has a 90 percent learning poverty, defined as the inability of a child to "read and understand simple text by age 10."
The country ranked last in reading, and second to last in science and mathematics among 79 countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment in 2018.
Filipino students also performed poorly in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics in 2019.
Some 28 million students are set to return to school Monday after 2 years of distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.