Press Release
June 4, 2006


Senator Richard J. Gordon called for the continuing educational programs of elementary and high school teachers to upgrade their teaching competence, to address the low proficiency level of students in Math, Science and English.

Gordon pointed out that among the underlying roots of such poor performance of the students are the overcrowded classrooms, lack of textbooks and school materials and poorly trained teachers.

We should prioritize education the way it is envisioned in the Constitution. If we dont do anything about it, it is not the government who loses out, it is the people who are going to be the losers, Gordon stated.

The constitution mandates the government to spend the biggest slice of the national budget on education, yet the achievement test and international comparative survey results reflect a low level of academic learning among most Filipino students.

We are beaten by small city states like Singapore. For the last 10 years we have been third from the last in terms of Science, English and Math, and there seems to be no sense of urgency on this matter. The educational system in this country should get the priority, But I do not see that kind of urgency, Gordon said.

The latest SWS Survey shows that only one in three Filipinos speak English. The level of English proficiency among students is plummeting considerably. From 54% English speakers in 2000 to 32% in March 2006.

The quality of teachers is not any better given that only 19% got a mark of 75% or higher in the English Proficiency Test. This just shows the urgent need to provide our teachers with necessary training and further education. How can they teach their students if they themselves fail their own exams? Gordon continued.

Better teachers could pave the way for better and well-informed students. Continuing educational program for teachers is a must for our society today and Senate Bill 1935 could be the answer to the countrys education problems.

Gordon proposed Senate Bill 1935 or the Education Revitalization Act which aims to raise funds estimated at P70 billion a year to address the problems of education such as lack of teachers training or continuing educational programs for teachers as well as the need for 59,000 classrooms.

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