MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday it has formed a technical working group (TWG) to prepare Filipino teachers and students who would participate in an upcoming international learning assessment, where the country previously showed dismal performance.
In a virtual press briefing, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan announced that the country would participate in the next Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), scheduled in 2022.
"Our decision is to continue participating in PISA. Now we have the benchmark of the 2018 PISA results and we want to see whether our interventions are working," Malaluan said.
"We have created a technical working group for international large-scale assessments. These have been meeting consistently," he said.
Filipino students fared worst among 79 countries in reading comprehension, and second lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy in the 2018 PISA, which was also the first time the country participated in the assessment.
The PISA, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is a computer-based test that measures 15-year-old students' performance in mathematics, science, and reading.
Preparing for PISA
Abigail Alviz, a member of the DepEd's TWG for international large-scale assessments, said the department and its partners were giving online training for teachers and school leaders on the PISA.
The training also includes a literacy course that aims to equip teachers with strategies and assessment methods to enhance the reading literacy of learners, she said.
Alviz said her team also developed learning materials and practice tests with "PISA-level questions" that would be uploaded in a learning management platform, where students can access and answer them.
"There are PISA-released items by the OECD... and we're maximizing their use because this is where we anchor our PISA-level questions and they will be converted into interactive materials," she said.
The DepEd and its partners have also analyzed the 2018 PISA results. For instance, the Bureau of Education Assessment reviewed PISA items which Filipino students answered incorrectly or found difficult to answer.
Malaluan said the action that the department has taken regarding PISA would yield "some positive results."
Marilou Balagtas, a professor at Philippine Normal University who studied the results of the 2018 PISA, said the country should continue participating in international assessments to see the "effectiveness" of the basic education curriculum.
"Participating in PISA would be a good way of knowing if we are really getting into our intention of producing globally-competitive learners," she said.
In 2019, the DepEd pivoted its policy from raising enrollment figures to improving the quality of education through the "Sulong Edukalidad" campaign.
This year, the DepEd rolled out a revised basic education curriculum following a review, reducing the number of learning competencies to the "most essential" for students.