MANILA- The poor reading comprehension of Filipino students is a "reality" that must be recognized by the country in order to improve its educational system, Malacañang said Thursday.
Filipino students ranked last among 79 countries in a global survey of reading comprehension, a result that the Palace opted to view in a "constructive" manner, according to Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.
"[O]ur government's joining in this assessment program signifies that this administration is unafraid to open the eyes of the Filipino people to the reality in order for us to ascertain what steps to undertake so we can perform better in the aspect of education," he said.
Over 600,000 students around the age of 15 from 79 different countries joined the reading assessment of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018.
Filipino students got a rating of 340 points in the survey, which is lower than the average 487 points. Majority of Filipinos aged 15 are in Grade 9.
Panelo said the Philippines joined the assessment as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's Quality Basic Education Reform Plan.
He said the government is working to address gaps in the education sector.
"Our education officials are on the right track as we address the issues and gaps in the basic education sector. These include a continuing review of the K to 12 program, improving our students' learning facilities and retooling the knowledge and skills of our teachers," he said.