INNOTECH Notes Progress on the Country’s PISA 2022 Results

The national results of the Philippines in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) for 2022 has been released. The assessment is designed and developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to show indicators of how education systems worldwide affect 15-year-old’s abilities in Math, Reading, and Science.  

The Philippines, through its Department of Education (DepEd), joined PISA for the second time, initially in 2018. DepEd participated as part of its quality basic education reform plan, hoping that this would be a step in the right direction in enhancing the quality of education in line with the global standards of today. A total of 7,193, 15-year-old students from 188 schools in the country completed the test.  

Results from the PISA 2022 showed a trend of decline in terms of mean scores or averages for reading across 81 countries. Countries in the top twenty such as Singapore, Ireland, and Australia, ranked higher for this edition of the assessment. However, their 2018 scores (549, 518, and 503 respectively) were significantly higher than their 2022 scores (543, 516, and 498 respectively). 

Philippines, while having a lower average score in reading in 2022 (347) compared to 2018 (353), ranked higher, moving up four spots, at 75th, as it was able to score a 6.9 percentage point hike in reading. The country was previously ranked the second lowest during the 2018 edition of PISA. The rise in ranking is a milestone not just for our educators, but also for our learners, who were able to maintain and rise above the 2018 results amidst the pessimistic forecast that arose that the results will be worse than the previous PISA assessment.  

OECD stated that the overall decline in results for all member states can be partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization noted that there was an unprecedented drop in scores for the latest assessment. “The decline in performance can only partially be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic,” OECD shared in an official statement, “with falling scores in reading, science, and math already apparent prior to 2018.”  

In response to the release of the results, DepEd Undersecretary for curriculum and teaching, Gina Gonong expressed that the performance was still positive, as most countries, as stated above saw a drop in performance. “Our education system is stable and resilient,” she stated. “Of course, there’s much to be desired. Maybe, a few more cycles of PISA and we can see improvements.” 

These sentiments were echoed in a forum held by DepEd on the PISA 2022 results last December 6, 2023. Congressman Roman Romulo, the chairman of the committee on basic education in Congress shared another perspective to the results during the event. “We [the Philippines] held the line [compared to other countries],” Congressman Romulo shared during the Forum. “During the pandemic, many students did not have the technology or did not know how to use the technology [for school].”  

He also attributed the decline in the reading average to the fact that Philippines had one of the longest lockdowns during the pandemic, which ran from two years. Schools were closed during that time, and students and educators faced challenges in ensuring that learning remained during that period.  

Dr. Diosdado M. San Antonio, the manager of SEAMEO INNOTECH’s Educational Research and Innovation Office was invited to participate in the panel discussion for the Forum. He echoed the sentiments of Congressman Romulo and noted that while the decrease in the global score was there, the Philippines scored higher in Mathematics and Reading. This meant the country fared better compared to other nations. “The interventions provided from 2018 to 2022 may have contributed to the slight improvement in the country’s PISA 2022 performance,” Dr. San Antonio shared. He also believed that the results showed that the learners did not regress despite the global health pandemic. 

SEAMEO INNOTECH Center Director Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones recognized the results of PISA 2022 and the possible implications it might have in the future. “The [PISA 2022] results show that our students remained steadfast.” she remarked. “Amidst the global pandemic and other socio-economic issues, our students held the line in these examinations.” 

This belief is in line with what DepEd Secretary and Vice President of the Philippines Sara Duterte shared to the public. “The PISA results are not merely a reflection of our education system. It is a mirror reflecting our collective efforts, investments, and most importantly, our commitment to education and the future we envision for our children,” Duterte said in her statement.  

Prof. Briones believes that the country’s performance will serve as an empirical basis on how to move forward and make progress as the country proceeds with learning recovery. She emphasizes the need to further improve the country’s education system and interventions made in line with the learning recovery efforts following the release of the PISA assessments.  

The INNOTECH Center Director reiterates that children need to have a better quality of education as they will be the future of the country’s workforce. She, like Vice President Duterte, campaigns for the urgency in improving the country’s education crisis and accelerating its recovery. Prof Briones applauds the perseverance of the learners and teachers despite all odds . She is optimistic that our country can sustain and even surpass the second level in the assessment in future iterations of PISA.  

INNOTECH, through Prof. Briones and Dr. San Antonio, is dedicated in developing innovative solutions to education problems in the region. The organization is currently working on the Technology-enabled Early Grades Reading Intervention (TEEGRI) Towards Able Readers, Adept Learners (ARAL) project which aims to dive into the effective reading interventions in the Philippines. The completion of the project will aim to support the development of fluent readers and adept readers through TEEGRI.  

SEAMEO INNOTECH, through its educational solutions, will assist and partner with DepED to provide targeted interventions for educators and learners as the reformed curriculum for reading will be rolled out in the future.  

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