PH 'not investing enough' in education, group says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2021 10:42 AM

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MANILA - The Philippines has a learning crisis because the government is not spending enough on education, an advocacy group said Tuesday.

"We're just not investing enough in education in terms of per capita spending for each student," Philippine Business For Education executive director Love Basillote told ANC. "We're not spending as much as comparable economies not just in the region but also in the world."

Malnutrition and lack of teaching expertise also affect students' learning, Basillote said.

"The learning crisis is really multifaceted," she added.

According to a report from the World Bank, around 80 percent of Filipino students fall below the minimum level of proficiency for their grade levels.

The Philippines was rated last in reading, and second to last in science and mathematics, among 79 countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment.

In the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study in 2019, the country placed last in both mathematics and science among 58 countries in the fourth-grade assessment.

The Philippines was also in the bottom half of the 6 countries in reading, mathematics and writing literacy in the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics in 2019.

In the interview, Basillote reiterated her call for the reconstitution of an Education Commission to address the country's learning crisis.

"EdCom actually is an opportunity for us to zoom out and look at the education system as a whole," she said. "The idea is we look at the problems, diagnose the weaknesses and also identify opportunities for reform and bring all the sectors together."

She also said that education should be the top priority for those gunning positions in next year's polls.

"I think education should be the number 1 priority of people who are running for leadership positions in the 2022 national elections," she said. "Education is really important because we cannot just let our kids fall behind."