By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian today called on the Senate to exercise its oversight powers to conduct an “honest and objective” performance review of the country’s education system as he expressed concerns over its declining ratings in various international surveys.
Gatchalian, who recently filed Senate Resolution No. 675, expressed his alarm over the current state of the Philippine education system given the poor marks the country has been getting in the global index.
Despite the passage of the Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, Republic Act 10687 or the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act, and Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, the senator said the Philippines ranked a dismal 113th out of 127 countries in the 2017 Global Innovation Index.
The lawmaker noted that the Philippines scored only marginally better in the tertiary education category at 74th place out of 123 countries.
The Philippines, he said, also earned poor marks in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018 released by the World Economic Forum, ranking 66th out of 137 countries for quality of primary education, 74th for quality of higher education, and 76th in math and science education.
Gatchalian , vice chair of the Senate committee on education, culture and the arts, said the resolution aims to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the current state of the Philippine education system,” with particular focus on gauging the “effectiveness and efficacy of existing education laws and policies.”
“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 postgraduate level, as well as non-formal and special education,” he 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,” the senator assured.
Gatchalian said a comprehensive performance review, “with special emphasis on collecting and analyzing concrete empirical evidence regarding key educational access and quality indicators,” would be vital to crafting a law that would put the Philippine education system back in the right track.
“It is necessary to craft a responsive legislation and policies that will put the country on the right path toward the transformation of the Philippine education system into a world-class institution,” he said.
“I am hopeful that this Senate inquiry will serve as the solid foundation atop which we can build the world-class education system that the Filipino people deserve,” the senator reiterated.