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DepEd demands public apology from World Bank over education report

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday demanded a public apology from the World Bank for allegedly insulting the country after claiming that more than 80% of Filipino students do not know what they should know in school.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones slammed the World Bank for allegedly making conclusions based on old data, not taking into account the recent initiatives on education reform, and failing to give the Philippine government a heads-up about the report.

She said the report was first released to the media instead. 

“We would like the public to be aware of this and since the country was insulted [and] was shamed, we expect and look forward to a public apology,” Briones said at a Palace news conference.

The World Bank has been a development partner of the DepEd since the 1980s.

She said the Washington-based multilateral lender should apologize first before negotiations on possible loans can be finalized. These possible loans include $110 million for upgrading teaching skills and $100 million for strengthening the Alternative Learning System.

In its report released last week, the World Bank said over 80% of Filipino schoolchildren fell below the minimum proficiency levels.

The World Bank based its conclusion on the country’s scores in the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the 2019 Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics (SEA-PLM).

Malacañang earlier described the report as “disturbing and very alarming.” — RSJ, GMA News