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January 2012 Dr. Carlo Magno De La Salle University, Manila 1 SEAMEO INNOTECH Fellow
SEAMEO-INNOTECH report: Philippines’ BEC is compared with Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Singapore
The Assessment Research Centre and The University of Melbourne compared the Philippine BEC in the areas of English, Mathematics, and Science across Thailand, Vietnam, and New South Wales (NSW) in Australia.
Figure 1. Curriculum and Outcomes. Taken from Esther Care and Patrick Griffin, Curriculum Comparison Study for the Philippines Basic Education Sector. By optimizing the human skills, national outcomes are optimized as well (Barro, 2001).
Duration of Basic and Pre-University Education in Selected Asian Countries
Country Philippines (current) Brunei Darussalam Malaysia Singapore Vietnam Thailand NSW Australia
1 2 3
Age 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Primary Education K Primary Education Primary Education Primary Education Intermediate Elementary School Primary Education High school High school High school High school Secondary Secondary School High school
Preschool Preschool Preschool Preschool Preschool
Pre-primary education Primary Education
The Philippines has the least number of years spent for studying and training for basic education (Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam, to name a few, spends around 13 years to complete the basic education program). The 10 year program in the Philippines’ basic education resulted to consistent low levels of performance in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS) and the National Achievement Test (NAT). The present educational system is also faced with increasing dropout rates and graduates having weak chances of getting better jobs because of their lack of occupational skills.
Areas of comparison
Curriculum Structure and Design
Aims of Education
Progression, Structure, and Organization Teacher-pupil ratio Medium of Instruction
Alignment Curriculum Skills and Content: English, mathematics, Science, ICT, and other subject areas.
Aims of Education
aim of education in the Philippines focuses on functional literacy. The country also aims to strengthen manpower for national development.
aims to develop individual in four fundamental principles: Wisdom, thinking, mind, and morality.
Darussalam emphasized in their new educational goal the needs of the industry in providing skills and knowledge without ignoring their values.
delivers learning in many aspects that includes literacy, numeracy, bilingualism, sciences, humanities, aesthetics, PE, and CME. Vietnam emphasizes on training individuals to be ready for work.
Malaysia, education focuses in achieving a national identity.
Progression, Structure, Alignment, and Organization
A test is given at the end of lower primary (end of year 3) and at the end of the upper primary (year 6). Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and NSW Australia have differentiated programs at the start of the upper secondary level (years 11-12) where students are classified according to their interests, and abilities.
Brunei Darussalam Malaysia Philippines Singapore 1:20
1:20 Depending on the school
Medium of Instruction
The medium of instruction in most countries is bilingual/multilingual except for Australia and Thailand. English and mother tongue are used as mediums of instruction in most countries.
Curriculum Structure and Design
Philippines: RBEC (primary), Backward design (secondary) Brunei Darussalam: SPN-21 Malaysia: Standards-based curriculum Vietnam: National Curriculum of Basic Education Thailand: Education Development Plan
The Philippines has the largest time allotment for English, science, mathematics, social studies, and home economics and livelihood education (HELE). Malaysia has the largest time on teaching mother tongue. Singapore has the largest time on music, arts, and physical education. The Philippines have the lowest time spent for these subjects and it is integrated. Thailand has the largest time on work-oriented subjects (practical skills and experiences for career preparation. Vietnam has the largest time on Vietnamese 12 language.
Table 4 Intended Cognitive Skills in the Final Year of Primary School Curricula
Philippines % Bloom’s Verbs Creating Analysing Applying 0 1.6 45.7
0 0.05 14.28 38 28.57 14.28 N=19
15.8 6.31 36.8 15.5 0 0 N=19
Understan 44 ding Remembe ring
The development of understanding on whole numbers follows a similar pattern with other countries. The teaching of the number system in the Philippines is introduced at an early year. There is no guide for teachers about the variation in the increase in the difficulty of problems in this area. Algebra is only introduced in the Philippines by year 7 and continuous to year 8 then again on year 10.
Science The science concepts, principles, laws, models and theories in the primary years are well developed and well chosen. The curriculum is coherent and developmental showing clear progression. However, the curriculum lacks opportunities to use science skills to support learners to solve problems, question, critique, analyze, and evaluate scientific claims. The content covered in the curriculum is heavier than the coverage in the other countries
In the Philippines’ educational curriculum, assessment is specified under three levels: Classroom assessment, national examinations, and large scale surveys of student achievement. The classroom assessment in the Philippines is carried out mostly for the purpose of grading students. The teachers need to use assessment to further help students learn by providing descriptive feedback and not just limited to grading. Local examinations are also provided in the Philippines. Students are provided with the scores but not with detailed feedback.
Discussion and Policy Recommendations: 12 key areas
The entire duration of time spent for teaching and learning in the Philippines is 10 years which is the shortest
1. Extend the years of basic education through the K-12 program.
The Philippines have the most number of students for every one teacher from year 1 to year 10.
2. Provide a mechanism to decrease the teacher-pupil ratio through alternative delivery modes.
The progression and sequence of learning in the basic education curriculum is not continuous.
3. Align the progression of skills through a spiral curriculum.
The skills emphasized in the curriculum are very theoretical and content- driven especially in the mathematics, science, social studies, history, and other subject areas.
4. Movement from content to deepening of skills in the teaching of subject areas.
Specialized tracks in the upper secondary years (year 11-12) give students in other countries an advantage for developing further skills for higher education.
5. Develop students skills further through specialized tracks in years 11-12.
The Philippine curriculum has limited specification on how instruction is delivered and the teaching of learning strategies.
6. Define teaching and emphasize teaching students’ ways to learn.
The Philippines does not have a strong curricular program on Information and Communications Technology.
7. Strengthen ICT integration in the Basic Education Curriculum.
National Assessment is administered to students in the Philippines only to rank the best performing and lowest performing schools
8. Beyond teacher training, the assessment of learning needs to be aligned with the curriculum.
Countries in Asia are able to make improvements in their curriculum by surveying if their educational performance is meeting international standards.
9. Improvement in education is continuously made based on international benchmarks.