The secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), Leonor Briones, said on Tuesday that aiming to further improve the Philippines’ basic education curriculum is not simply copying and adopting other country’s curriculum such as Singapore’s. 

“We look at how they do things but at the same time, we have to consider our own history, our own culture,” Briones said after the idea was proposed to her during her ANC interview.  

“We also insist on a balanced approach to education because that’s part of growing up, otherwise you will have robots,” she pointed out.

While some parents have been enrolling their children to educational institutions where Singaporean methods in Mathematics are offered, Briones said DepEd’s “Math Sayaw” competition, which is being held in schools nationwide, greatly helps students in learning Math when concepts are sang and danced. 

“Students tend to absorb concepts so much faster when it is integrated into culture,” Briones added. 

On October 29, 2018, Briones officially visited Singapore to personally observe the country’s primary and secondary school system. However, she believed Singapore’s learning method could not be integrated in the Philippines. 

Philippines ranked 2nd lowest in Math and Science

The 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that the Philippines is the second lowest out of 79 countries in Math and Science, as well as lowest in reading comprehension. 

Singapore, however, was the second best in the said assessment, next to China. 

Briones explained that it is a first time for the Philippines to participate in PISA. This is done to assess and establish a baseline in relation to global standards of education. 

Moreover, she emphasized that schools’ curriculum must be continuously reviewed and developed because “knowledge is changing.” 

We have to continually review the curriculum in terms of relevant… the pedagogy, the way teachers are teaching their children. We don’t have to teach them to get data because they can get data from the Internet. We have to teach them how to process the data,” DepEd chief said. 

“We are in a sense leveling up our curriculum in Science and Math but we do not forget the cultural and historical aspects of also being Filipinos,” Briones added. 

According to her, improving the access to facilities of educators while upskilling them is vital in strengthening the quality education of the Philippines. 

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