Senate inquiry sought on PHL education

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Win Gatchalian
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian -- Photo by Victor Saulon

SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian on Sunday called for a comprehensive performance review of the country’s education system in response to its “poor marks” in various international rankings.

In a resolution filed Mar. 6, the senator sought an inquiry into the state of the education system, with particular focus on gauging the “effectiveness and efficacy of existing education laws and policies.”

“The feedback collected from this comprehensive review will be critical to guiding the government in crafting and implementing legislative and policy reforms,” Mr. Gatchalian said in a statement Sunday.

He said the review would cover “day care all the way up to the post-graduate level” as well as non-formal and special education.

It would also collect and analyze key educational access and quality indicators in order to craft responsive legislative and executive efforts aimed at transforming the Philippine education system into a world-class institution.

In his resolution, Mr. Gatchalian stated that the Philippines continued to receive poor marks for education in international performance indices despite reforms such as Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, RA 10687 or the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Act, and RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

He cited the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), indicating that the Philippines ranked 66th out of 137 countries for quality of primary education and 74th for quality of math and science education.

He also mentioned that “the Philippine education system did even worse in the 2017 Global Innovation Index,” placing 113th out of 127 countries.

“I am hopeful that this Senate inquiry will serve as the solid foundation atop which we can build (a) world-class education system that the Filipino people deserve,” Mr. Gatchalian said.