Press Release
March 4, 2012

Cayetano pushes for improvement of quality of science education, not merely on number of education years

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to focus on improving the quality of education in the country especially in the area of science.

The senator lamented that the Philippines, despite allotting the most time to science education in elementary in the Southeast Asia, continues to rank poorly in comparison to other countries in the region.

He cited a study by the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) that puts the Philippine time allotment to science at 1,100 minutes per week as compared to Brunei's 810 minutes, Singapore's 540 minutes and Malaysia's 360 minutes.

He then compared this to the county's ranking in the annual Global Competitiveness report that pegged the quality of science and education in the country at 112th out of 139 countries in 2010-2011 and 115th out of 142 countries in 2011-2012.

"With the amount of time we spent learning science, shouldn't we be performing better compared to our neighbors?" he asked.

The minority leader pointed out that these results should urge DepEd to focus on improving the quality of education rather than only the quantity or the number of years a student spends in school as a result of the K+12 program.

He suggested that this be done through a careful review and improvement of the existing elementary science and math curricula.

"Rather than asking students to spend more time in school, efforts should be focused on enhancing the quality of education they receive when they are in school," he said.

Cayetano also said that adding more years to basic education will only put unnecessary strain on teachers and the country's already limited educational resources if this is not complemented with efforts to also improve the quality of education students will get from school.

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