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PHL ranks lowest out of 79 countries in reading comprehension —global survey

The Philippines performed the poorest out of 79 countries in a reading literacy assessment conducted by the inter-government group Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD administered a two-hour Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam to 600,000 15-year-old students around the world in 2018.

The 2018 PISA Results showed that Filipino students scored a mean of 340 points in the reading comprehension exam, which falls way below the OECD average of 487 points. 

PISA 2018 defined reading literacy as “understanding, using, evaluating, reflecting on and engaging with texts in order to achieve one’s goals, to develop one’s knowledge and potential, and to participate in society.”

“Reading proficiency is essential for a wide variety of human activities – from following instructions in a manual; to finding out the who, what, when, where and why of an event; to communicating with others for a specific purpose or transaction,” the OECD said.

The Philippines also ranked second to the last in math and science, trailed only by the Dominican Republic.

The Philippines scored a mean of 353 in mathematics, lower than the OECD average of 489 points.

In science, the country’s mean score was 336. The OECD average is also 489 points.

The OECD also noted that 60% of Filipino students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Your intelligence is something about you that you can’t change very much.”

“Those students are unlikely to make the investments in themselves that are necessary to succeed in school and in life,” the organization said.

The Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang group from China topped the rankings after scoring higher than the OECD average in reading (555), math (591), and science (590).

Singapore ranked second while Macao landed in third place.

This is the first time the Philippines took part in the PISA. —LDF, GMA News