Filipino students still among the weakest in math, reading, and science
Filipino students still among the weakest in math, reading, and science
Filipino students still among the weakest in math, reading, and science
by Christhel Cuazon06 December 2023

Filipino students remain among the weakest in math, reading, and science in the world based on the new data released by the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The Philippines ranked 77th out of 81 countries globally in the student assessment conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for 15-year-old students.

The latest result showed the Philippines only scored 356 points in science, 347 in reading, and 355 in math in PISA 2022.

“Over the most recent period (2018 to 2022), the gap between the highest-scoring students (10% with the highest scores) and the weakest students (10% with the lowest scores) narrowed in mathematics, while it did not change significantly in reading and science. In mathematics, low-achievers became stronger, while performance did not change significantly amongst high-achievers,” PISA said.

“Compared to 2018, the proportion of students scoring below a baseline level of proficiency (Level 2) did not change significantly in mathematics, reading and science,” it added.


In mathematics, only 16 percent of Filipino students attained at least Level 2 proficiency which was “significantly less than on average across OECD countries," lower than the average across OECD countries.

“At a minimum, these students can interpret and recognize, without direct instructions, how a simple situation can be represented mathematically. Over 85% of students in Singapore, Macao (China), Japan, Hong Kong (China)*, Chinese Taipei and Estonia performed at this level or above,” the PISA results said. It also showed that almost no students in the Philippines were top performers in mathematics.

“At these levels, students can model complex situations mathematically, and can select, compare and evaluate appropriate problem-solving strategies for dealing with them. Only in 16 out of 81 countries and economies participating in PISA 2022 did more than 10% of students attain Level 5 or 6 proficiency,” the results showed.

The reading literacy score in the Philippines increased from 340 points in PISA 2018 to 347 points in PISA 2022. However, it remains to be way below the global average reading score of 476 points.

“At a minimum, these students can identify the main idea in a text of moderate length, find information based on explicit, though sometimes complex criteria, and can reflect on the purpose and form of texts when explicitly directed to do so. The share of 15-year-old students who attained minimum levels of proficiency in reading (Level 2 or higher) varied from 89% in Singapore to 8% in Cambodia,” the PISA results explained.

“In the Philippines, almost no students scored at Level 5 or higher in reading (OECD average: 7%). These students can comprehend lengthy texts, deal with concepts that are abstract or counterintuitive, and establish distinctions between fact and opinion, based on implicit cues pertaining to the content or source of the information,” PISA added.

In science, the country’s average performance was 356 points, with some 23 percent of Filipino students only accomplishing Level 2 or higher, with no students scoring Level 5 or higher.

The PISA study is carried out every three years by the OECD to “explore how well students can solve complex problems, think critically and communicate effectively” and give insights as to how the countries’ educational systems “prepare students for real-life challenges and future success.”

This year, 7,193 Filipino students from 188 schools completed the assessment, which involved two hour-long tests each devoted to one subject.

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