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DepEd to use Philippines' performance in 4th grade math, science to raise education quality

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said it will use the results of an international study that ranked Filipino students lowest out of 58 countries in fourth-grade math and science in efforts to raise the quality of education in the country.

The 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which the Philippines joined for the first time since 2003, revealed Filipino learners scored "significantly lower" than their peers from dozens of other countries.

The Grade 4 students who participated in the study scored 297 in math and 249 in science. The study’s benchmarks were 625 for “advanced,” 550 for “high,” 475 for “intermediate,” and 400 for “low.”

In a statement, the DepEd said it values the "immense data" the TIMSS results offer on the mathematics and science literacy of Filipino learners. The results will also widen the department's understanding of home and school environment, education composition and resources, school climate, teacher development, and job satisfaction, among others, it said.

"Our standing policy is to translate these international assessments into concrete and implementable actions that can have a direct impact on our learners' achievements and teachers' improvements," the DepEd said.

"Though we had to prioritize our COVID-19 response this year, we did not lose sight of our mission of Sulong EduKalidad. With these assessments as guides, and with the help of supportive stakeholders, we will continue to pursue reforms and interventions in curriculum upgrading, teacher development, and learning environment improvement," it added.

The DepEd rolled out distance learning this year as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. This setup, where students attend class online or learn at home through printed modules, came with accessibility issues especially for poor learners.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate education committee, said the TIMSS results point to a "major crisis" in basic education.—LDF, GMA News