Home / Top News / Philippine Grade 4 pupils lowest in math, science: int’l study

Philippine Grade 4 pupils lowest in math, science: int’l study

The Philippines ranked lowest among 58 countries in an international assessment for mathematics and science for Grade 4 students. 

According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 (TIMSS) conducted March – June last year, Filipino pupils scored 297 in mathematics and 249 in science. Compared to other countries, these scores were “significantly lower”, according to TIMSS. 

Singapore topped the assessments with a score of 635 in mathematics and 595 in science. 

The study measures the competence in math and science of grade 4 and grade 8 students from participating countries around the globe. 

The Philippines only participated in the assessment of fourth-grade students for the 2019 study. 

The study follows the 4 International Benchmarks to interpret the student’s performance: Advanced International Benchmark (625), High International Benchmark (550), Intermediate International Benchmark (475), and Low International Benchmark (400). 

Singapore topped the assessments with a score of 635 in mathematics and 595 in science. 

In mathematics, only 19% of Filipino students reached the low intermediate benchmark, which indicated that only a few “have some basic mathematical knowledge.” 

“They can add, subtract, multiply, and divide one- and two-digit whole numbers. They can solve simple word problems,” the study explained. 

“They have some knowledge of simple fractions and common geometric shapes. Students can read and complete simple bar graphs and tables,” it added. 

Meanwhile, only six percent of Filipinos “can apply basic mathematical knowledge in simple situations.” 

Only one percent reached the high benchmark, meaning, “students can apply conceptual understanding to solve problems.” 

In science, 13% of Filipino students were included in the low benchmark. Based on TIMSS, these students “show limited understanding of scientific concepts and limited knowledge of foundational science facts.” 

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian raised the TIMSS study before the hearing of the Senate committee on basic education.  “I call this a major crisis in the education of the country,” he said. “We have to address this crisis and we cannot just sleep quietly and comfortably knowing that our students are performing very poorly and continue to perform poorly in a lot of the examination.” 

In a separate 2019 study by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Association and the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, only a small percentage of Grade 5 Filipino pupils excelled in mathematics, reading and writing. 

Last month, a Switzerland-based education company also revealed that the Philippines dropped in the global English proficiency ranking. 

In 2019, Programme for International Student Assessment by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that Filipinos fared worst among 79 countries in reading literacy and second-lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *