Oliver Bugarin 2 0 0 4 min to read

Filipino students must catch up in mathematics and science.

Science and math proficiency is essential for economic development, so Senator Sherwin Gatchalian introduced a bill to build high schools with a focus on these topics across the nation’s regions.

According to Gatchalian, the administration’s decision to increase the emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in basic education is in line with Senate Bill No. 476, also known as the Equitable Access to Math and Science Education Act.

Gatchalian stated in a news release on Monday that “this specialized academic preparation opens doors to critical thinking, financial literacy, and evidence-based decision-making and is highly critical to the improvement of the country’s economy as it depends on a workforce proficient in math and science.”

According to the law, the Department of Education (DepEd) will collaborate with those provinces that do not currently have at least one public math and science high school to establish such institutions.

Under the direction of the DepEd and Department of Scientific and Technology, the schools shall adopt a six-year integrated junior-senior high school curriculum with a focus on advanced science, mathematics, and technology topics.

Graduates of math and science high schools must enroll in courses in subjects such as mathematics, engineering, technology, pure and applied sciences, and other subjects the Commission on Higher Education deems appropriate.

According to Gatchalian, according to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the Philippines has one of the lowest rates of researchers per million people in Southeast Asia, with only 186 researchers per million people, according to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics.

There are 963 and 2,054 researchers per million people, respectively, in Thailand and Malaysia.

He bemoaned the fact that, among students in 79 other nations, Filipino students in mathematics and science were ranked second to last according to the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment.

According to Gatchalian, out of 58 countries, the Philippines ranked last in mathematics and science in the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

Only 17% of Filipino students in Grade 5 completed the basic requirements in mathematics according to the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics 2019, he stated.

“We must solve this skills gap by strategic human capital investments focused on the subjects of Mathematics and Science,” Gatchalian added. “To realize our joint aim to be the next Asian tiger economy.

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