CEBU Rep. Eduardo Gullas has voiced alarm over the dismal performance of Filipino students in several global reading, math and science proficiency assessments held recently.
As the country observed the International Day of Education yesterday, the lawmaker bewailed that Filipino Grade 4 students recorded the lowest scores among 58 countries based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 results released last December 8.
On the other hand, 15-year-old students from the Philippines also performed the worst among 79 countries in reading literacy and second lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy based on the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results.
Gullas said Filipino students fared badly against their foreign counterparts because of the deterioration in English proficiency, not just by school children but also their teachers.
“We have to go all out in reinforcing English as the medium of instruction in all school levels. Math and science manuals are in English, so learning becomes hard if the student has deficient English,” Gullas said.
Gullas, former president of the University of the Visayas, urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to draw up a plan to boost the teaching of English in schools.
“DepEd should devote more funds to improve the English language skills of all classroom teachers,” he said, adding the department has an annual budget for in-service training.
He recommended that aspiring teachers or those taking up Bachelor of Elementary Education and Bachelor of Secondary Education should be required to take additional units in English.
“We must embrace English, which is the world’s lingua franca and the language business and technology. Our schools should enable young Filipinos to master the language,” Gullas said.