Press Release
May 6, 2007


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said yesterday that the crisis facing the country today is no longer in the economy but in education.

Angara said that the economic crisis has eased off with the low rates of interest and inflation, a stronger peso and the increasing investor confidence.

We are now seeing real economic growth. The economic crisis has eased off but the crisis in education still persists, he stressed.

Angara noted that the quality of education in the country has not kept in step with the challenges of global competition.

An international study on math and science shows that Filipino students performed poorly compared with students from other countries. In examinations taken by high school students from 45 countries, our students are ranked 41st in math and 42nd in science, he lamented.

Angara noted that while education enjoys the biggest slice of the annual budget pie, there is still insufficient fund for the educational fields that he considers matter most in this modern world.

The educational system could give the Philippines a competitive edge if it focuses on math, science, technology and engineering, he contended.

He pointed out that the countrys competitiveness has slid down 29 places since 2001 because of the failure to upgrade and update the educational system.

Now, we are in the bottom third of the global competitiveness list of 117 countries. If we are to grow as a nation, we need to improve our capacity for innovation, he added.

Angara cited a study by the Department of Labor and Employment showing that firms engaged in science and technology would generate 4 million jobs in the next five years.

Yet, our educational institutions could produce only 2.7 million graduates from these fields, he said.

Angara has authored a law creating a joint Congressional Commission on Math, Science, Technology and Engineering to enhance their development. He said that the joint commission would put the educational system under the microscope so it could make the appropriate recommendations, including changes in emphasis and increased funding for science and technological education, to ease the ongoing Philippine crisis.

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