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Navigating Education: A Closer Look at PISA 2022 Results in the Philippines

Updated: Feb 5

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has become a crucial tool in evaluating the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students worldwide. Recently, the Philippines participated in PISA for the first time in 2018, offering an opportunity for policymakers and educators to benchmark against global standards in mathematics, reading, and science. The 2022 results shed light on the trends, achievements, and challenges faced by the Philippine education system in preparing students for real-life challenges and future success.

Performance Overview: Steady Ground, Areas to Grow

In terms of average performance from 2018 to 2022, the Philippines has maintained a consistent level in mathematics, reading, and science. However, the data reveals that while the highest-scoring students in mathematics improved, the performance of top achievers in reading and science remained relatively stable. Additionally, the proportion of students scoring below proficiency levels did not significantly change.

Global Comparison: Identifying Opportunities

Comparing the Philippines to the OECD average and selected countries, the nation's students scored below average in mathematics, reading, and science. The proportion of top performers (Level 5 or 6) was lower, indicating a need for targeted strategies to elevate academic achievement across subjects.

Mathematics Proficiency: A Call for Improvement

In mathematics, only 16% of Philippine students achieved at least Level 2 proficiency, significantly below the OECD average of 69%. Moreover, the absence of top performers (Level 5 or 6) is notable, emphasizing the need for innovative approaches to enhance mathematical problem-solving skills.

Reading and Science: A Balancing Act

Reading and science proficiency in the Philippines showed similar patterns. While 24% of students reached at least Level 2 in reading, and 23% did so in science, there is room for improvement to align with global averages. Strategies to foster critical thinking and analytical skills in these subjects are essential for future success.

Performance Gaps: Addressing Socio-Economic Disparities

The data indicates that socio-economic status significantly influences academic performance in the Philippines. While the performance gap between the highest and lowest socio-economic quintiles narrowed in mathematics, it remains a predictor of academic success. Efforts to bridge this gap and support academically resilient students from disadvantaged backgrounds are critical for a more equitable education system.

Gender Disparities: Girls Leading the Way

Girls outperformed boys in both mathematics and reading, highlighting the need for targeted interventions to support male students. Understanding and addressing gender-based differences can contribute to a more balanced educational landscape.

School Life: Balancing Challenges and Support

Examining the students' sense of belonging, satisfaction with life, and their experiences during school closures due to COVID-19, the Philippines showcased a mixed picture. While students reported ease in making friends, a decline in their sense of belonging at school and a decrease in overall life satisfaction were observed. Addressing these concerns and enhancing support systems can positively impact the well-being of students.

Looking Ahead: Key Takeaways and Considerations

Despite facing challenges, the PISA 2022 results provide valuable insights for shaping the future of education in the Philippines. Addressing performance gaps, leveraging gender-based insights, and enhancing support structures are crucial components of a holistic approach to education reform. As the nation navigates these findings, a commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and continuous improvement will be vital in preparing the next generation for success in an evolving global landscape.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2023). PISA 2022 Results – Country Notes: Philippines. Retrieved from

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