Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian

The Senate is set to conduct a performance review of the country’s education system following the poor marks the Philippines obtained for educational access and quality in various international rankings.

The hearing, to be conducted by the Senate committee on education chaired by Sen. Francis Escudero, was prompted by a resolution filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who asked the chamber to exercise its legislative oversight powers to conduct a comprehensive performance review of the country’s education system.

The review should focus on gauging the “effectiveness and efficacy of existing education laws and policies,” Gatchalian, vice chairman of the committee, said.

“Essentially our aim is to conduct an honest, objective performance review of the entire education system, encompassing everything from daycare all the way up to the post-graduate level, as well as non-formal and special education,” Gatchalian said.

“The feedback collected from this comprehensive review will be critical to guiding the government in crafting and implementing legislative and policy reforms which will empower the State to fulfill its obligation under the Constitution and international law to provide the Filipino people with access to quality education at all levels,” he added.

The government has already put into motion recent reforms aimed at expanding access to and improving the quality of the Philippine education system, including the K-12 Law (Republic Act 10533), the UniFAST Law (RA 10687), and the Free Higher Education Law (RA 10931).

Despite the passage of these laws, however, the Philippines continue to receive poor marks for education in international performance indices.

On Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum, the Philippines ranked 66th out of 137 countries for quality of primary education, 74th for quality of higher education, and 76th for quality of math and science education.

The Philippine education system did even worse on the 2017 Global Innovation Index, where it was ranked at a dismal 113th place out of 127 countries.

Buhay Marino Dyaryo is published monthly by SEAFARERS MARITIME MEDIA, INC.

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