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Part I Descriptive Section

List of Tables

Table I-1: Comparative PPA Performance Targets

Table I-2: Baseline Figures using Core EFA Indicators

Table I-3: Pupil-Teacher Ratios in Primary Education (1990)

Table I-4: National Repetition Rates by Grade

Table I-5: Comparative EFA Performance Targets

Table I-6: National Targets for Early Childhood Care and Development, 1991-2000

Table I-7: National and Regional Targets for UQPE

Table I-8: 10-Year Philippine EFA Budget Estimate

Table I-9: Estimated Component Costs of the Philippine EFA

Table II-1: Number and Coverage of Public Day Care Centres

Table II-2: Number and Coverage of Public Day Care Centres

Table II-3: Number of Pre-Schools, Target vs. Actual

Table II-4: Enrolment in Pre-Schools, Target vs. Actual

Table II-5: Overall Participation in ECCD Programmes

Table II-6: Actual NER vs. PPA and MPBE Targets

Table II-7: Actual Cohort Survival Rate vs, PPA & MPBE Targets

Table II-8: Actual Dropout Rate vs. PPA Targets

Table II-9: Primary Level Dropout Rates by Region

Table II-10: Regional Dropout Rate Gaps

Table II-11: Actual Primary Mean Achievement Score vs. PPA & MPBE Targets

Table II-12: Regional Achievement Level Gaps

Table II-13: Primary Level Achievement Levels by Region

Table II-14: Simple Literacy Rate, Targets vs. Latest Data by Region

Table II-15: Functional Literacy Rate, Targets vs. Latest Data by Region

Table III-1: GER in ECCD Programmes, National Aggregates

Table III-2: GER in ECCD Programmes, Gender Parity Index

Table III-3: GER in ECCD Programmes, Urban-Rural Parity Index

Table III-4: GER in ECCD Programmes, Means and Standard Deviations

Table III-5: % of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance

Table III-6: % of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance, Public vs. Private

Table III-7: Percentage of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance, Gender Parity

Table III-8: Percentage of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance, Location Parity

Table III-9: % of New Ist Graders w/ ECCD attendance, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-10: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade One, National Aggregates

Table III-11: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, Gender Parity Index

Table III-12: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, Location Parity Index

Table III-13: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-14: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, National Aggregates

Table III-15: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, Gender Parity Index

Table III-16: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, Location Parity Index

Table III-17: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-18: Primary Level GER, National Aggregates

Table III-19: Primary Level GER, Gender Parity Index

Table III-20: Primary Level GER, Location Parity Index

Table III-21: Primary Level GER, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-22: Primary Level NER, National Aggregates

Table III-23: Primary Level NER, Gender Parity Index

Table III-24: Primary Level NER, Location Parity Index

Table III-25: Primary Level NER, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-26: Public Current Expenditure on Primary Education as a % of GNP

Table III-27: Per Pupil Current Expenditure on Prim Educ as a % of Per Capita GNP

Table III-28: Public Expend on Prim Educ as a % of Tot Public Expend on Education

Table III-29: Percentage of Primary Teachers with Requisite Academic Qualifications

Table III-30: Percentage of Primary Teachers certified to Teach

Table III-31: Primary Level Pupil-Teacher Ratio, National Aggregates

Table III-32: Primary Level Pupil-Teacher Ratio, Net of Non-Teaching Teachers

Table III-33: Public Sector Pupil-Teacher Ratios, Location Parity

Table III-34: Average Primary Repetition Rates

Table III-35: Average Primary Repetition Rates, Gender Parity Index

Table III-36: Average Primary Repetition Rates, Location Parity Index

Table III-37: National Primary Repetition Rate by Grade

Table III-38: Average Primary Repetition Rate, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-39: Cohort-Survival Rate to Grade 6, National Aggregates

Table III-40: Survival Rate to Grade 6, Gender Parity Index

Table III-41: Cohort-Survival Rate, Location Parity Index

Table III-42: Cohort-Survival Rate, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-43: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6

Table III-44: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, Gender Parity Index

Table III-45: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, Location Parity Index

Table III-46: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-47: Percentage of Primary Pupils Mastering Basic Learning Competencies

Table III-48: % of Pupils Mastering Reading/Writing Competency, Means & Std Deviations

Table III-49: % of Pupils Mastering Mathematics Competency, Means & Std Deviations

Table III-50: % of Pupils Mastering Life Skills Competency, Means & Std Deviations

Table III-51: Literacy Rate of 15-24 Year-Olds, National Aggregates

Table III-52: Literacy Rate of 15-24 Year-Olds, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-53: Literacy Rate & GPI of 15+ Year-Olds

Table III-54: Literacy Rate & GPI of 15+ Year-Olds, Means & Standard Deviations

Table III-55: Vital Characteristics of Core EFA Indicators - Baseline

Table III-56: Vital Characteristics of Core EFA Indicators at Assessment

Table IV-1: Number of Primary-Level Schools

Table IV-2: Enrolment in Primary-Level Schools

Table IV-3: Number of Pre-Schools

Table IV-4: Enrolment in Pre-Schools

Table IV-5: External Assistance to Primary Education

Table IV-6: National Education Budgets (in billion Pesos)

Table IV-7: Comparative Salaries of Public and Private School Teachers

Table IV-8: Per Student MOOE at the Elementary Level Teachers at Current Prices

Table IV-9: School Building Programme – Primary Level Portion, in billion Pesos

Table IV-10: Textbook Procurement Programme – Primary Education, in million Pesos

Table IV-11: Ratio of Health Facilities to Population

 List of Figures

Figure I-1: Targeted Coverage of ECCD Programmes

Figure I-2: Milestones in the Targeted Growth of ECCD Coverage

Figure I-3: Expected Growth Rates in Target Population and ECCD-Covered Segment

Figure I-4: Coverage Targets of ECCD Modalities

Figure I-5: PPA & MPBE Targets for the NER in Primary Education

Figure I-6: PPA & MPBE Targets for the CSR in Primary Education

Figure I-7: PPA & MPBE Targets for the Dropout Rate in Primary Education

Figure I-8: PPA & MPBE Targets for the Mean Achievement Score

Figure I-9: PPA Targets for Simple and Functional Literacy

Figure I-10: Distribution of Philippine EFA Costs by Component

Figure I-11: EFA Implementation Mechanism per PPA

Figure I-12: EFA Programme Management Teams per PPA

Figure II-1: Number of Public Day Care Centres, Target vs. Actual

Figure II-2: Intake of Public Day Care Centres, Target vs. Actual

Figure II-3: Percentage of Barangays without Day Care Centres

Figure II-4: Number of Pre-Schools, Target vs. Actual

Figure II-5: Enrolment in Pre-Schools, Target vs. Actual

Figure II-6: Actual NER Performance vs. PPA & MPBE Targets

Figure II-7: Actual Cohort Survival Rate vs, PPA & MPBE Targets

Figure II-8: Actual Dropout Rate vs. PPA Targets

Figure II-9: Primary Level Dropout Rates by Region

Figure II-10: Actual Primary Mean Achievement Score vs. PPA & MPBE Targets

>Figure II-11: Primary Level Achievement Levels by Region

Figure III-1: Gross Enrolment Ratios in ECCD Programmes

Figure III-2: GER in ECCD Programmes, Regional Means

Figure III-3: GER in ECCD Programmes, Standard Deviations within Regions

Figure III-4: % of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance, by Sector

Figure III-5: % of New Entrants to Grade 1 with ECCD attendance, by Location

Figure III-6: % of New Ist Graders w/ ECCD attendance, Regional Means

Figure III-7: % of New Ist Graders w/ ECCD attendance, Standard Deviations

Figure III-8: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, National Aggregates

Figure III-9: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, Regional Means

font face="Arial">Figure III-10: Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1, Standard Deviations

Figure III-11: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, National Aggregates

Figure III-12: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, Regional Means

Figure III-13: Net Intake Rate in Grade 1, Standard Deviations

Figure III-14: Primary Level GER, National Aggregates

Figure III-15: Primary Level GER, Regional Means

Figure III-16: Primary Level GER, Standard Deviations

Figure III-17: Primary Level NER, National Aggregates

Figure III-18: Primary Level NER, Regional Means

Figure III-19: Primary Level NER, Standard Deviations

Figure III-20: Public Current Expenditure on Primary Education as a % of GNP

Figure III-21: Per Pupil Current Expenditure on Prim Educ as a % of Per Capita GNP

Figure III-22: Public Expend on Prim Educ as a % of Tot Public Expend on Education

Figure III-23: Percentage of Primary Teachers certified to Teach

Figure III-24: Primary Level Pupil-Teacher Ratio, National Aggregates

Figure III-25: Public Sector Pupil-Teacher Ratios, Regional Means

Figure III-26: Public Sector Pupil-Teacher Ratios, Standard Deviations

Figure III-27: Average Primary Repetition Rates

Figure III-28: Primary Level Repetition Rate by Grade

Figure III-29: Average Primary Repetition Rate, Regional Means

Figure III-30: Average Primary Repetition Rate, Standard Deviations

Figure III-31: Cohort-Survival Rate to Grade 6, National Aggregates

Figure III-32: Cohort-Survival Rate, Regional Means

Figure III-33: Cohort-Survival Rate, Standard Deviations

Figure III-34: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, National Aggregates

Figure III-35: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, Regional Means

Figure III-36: Coefficient of Efficiency to Grade 6, Standard Deviations

Figure III-37: Percentage of Primary Pupils Mastering Reading/Writing Competency

Figure III-38: % of Pupils Mastering Reading/Writing Competency, Regional Means

Figure III-39: % of Pupils Mastering Reading/Writing Competency, Regional Means

Figure III-40: Percentage of Primary Pupils Mastering Mathematics Competency

Figure III-41: % of Pupils Mastering Mathematics Competency, Regional Means

Figure III-42: % of Pupils Mastering Mathematics Competency, Standard Deviations

Figure III-43: % of Pupils Mastering Life Skills Competency

Figure III-44: % of Pupils Mastering Life Skills Competency, Regional Means

Figure III-45: % of Pupils Mastering Life Skills Competency, Standard Deviations

Figure III-46: Literacy Rate of 15-24 Year-Olds, National Aggregates

Figure III-47: Literacy Rate of 15-24 Year-Olds, Regional Means

Figure III-48: Literacy Rate of 15-24 Year-Olds, Standard Deviations

Figure III-49: Literacy Rate & GPI of 15+ Year-Olds, National Aggregates

Figure III-50: Literacy Rate & GPI of 15+ Year-Olds, Regional Means

Figure III-51: Literacy Rate & GPI of 15+ Year-Olds, Standard Deviations

Figure IV-1: National Government Budget for Education by Level

 

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABCSDP – Area-Based Child Survival and Development Programme

ADB- Asian Development Bank

AIR – Apparent Intake Rate in Grade 1

ALS – Alternative Learning Systems

ARMM – Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao

ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations

ASNP – Alternative School Nutrition Programme

AUSAID – Australian Agency for International Development

BCDA – Bases Conversion Development Authority

BEE – Bureau of Elementary Education, DECS

BHS – Barangay Health Station

BNFE – Bureau of Non-Formal Education, DECS

BRIGHT Better Reading Instruction Geared towards Higher Thinking Skills

CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region

CED – Continuing Education Development

CHED– Commission on Higher Education

CIDA – Canadian International Development Agency

CIDSS– Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services

CONSTEL – Continuing Science Education via Television

CPC – Country Programme for Children (UNICEF)

CSAC – Children in Situations of Armed Conflict

CSR – Cohort Survival Rate

CWC – Council for the Welfare of Children

DECS– Department of Education, Culture & Sports

DDU – Depressed, Disadvantaged and Underserved

DILG – Department of the Interior and Local Governments

DIP – Dropout Intervention Programme

DOH – Department of Health

DPWH – Department of Public Works and Highways

DSWD – Department of Social Welfare & Development

ECCD– Early Childhood Care and Development

ECDP– Early Childhood Development Project

ECD – Early Childhood Development

ECE – Early Childhood Education

EDCOM – Congressional Education Commission

EFA – Education for All

EISA – Eradication of Illiteracy in Selected Areas

EOI – Eradication of Illiteracy

EPI – Expanded Programme for Immunisation

GER – Gross Enrolment Rate

GNP – Gross National Product

GO – Government Organisation

GOP – Government of the Philippines

HEKASI – Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika (Geography, HIstory & Civics)

IMCI – Integrated Management of Child Illness

INTPRO – Integrated Programmes

IRA – Internal Revenue Allotment

LSCS – Literacy Service Contracting Scheme

LGC – Local Government Code

LGU – Local Government Unit

MBN – Minimum Basic Needs

MCH – Maternal and Child Health

MDSP – Multi-grade Demo School Project

MG – Multigrade Teaching

MLC – Minimum Learning Competencies

MOOE – Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures

MPBE– Master Plan for Basic Education

MTPDP – Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan

NCEFA – National Committee for Education for All

NCR – National Capital Region

NEAP – National Educators Academy of the Philippines

NEAT – National Elementary Achievement Test

NEDA – National Economic & Development Authority

NER – Net Enrolment Rate

NESC – New Elementary School Curriculum

NETRC – National Education Testing and Research Centre

NGO – Non-Government Organisation

NIR – Net Intake Rate in Grade 1

NSED – National School Enrolment Day

NTS – National Technical Secretariat

OPS – Office of Planning Service, DECS

PD – Presidential Decree

PDCC – Public Day Care Centre

PEEP– Productivity Enhancement of Economic Projects

PEM – Protein Energy Malnutrition

PES – Parent Effectiveness Service

PMT– Project Management Team

PPA – Philippine Plan of Action

PPAC – Philippine Plan of Action for Children

PPAN – Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition

PRC – Professional Regulations Commission

PROBE – Programme for Basic Education

PRODED – Programme for Decentralised Education Development

PTCA – Parent-Teacher-Community Association

RA – Republic Act

RCEFA – Regional Committee for Education for All

RISE – Regional Initiative in Science Education

SMAP – Social Mobilisation and Advocacy Programme

SMEMDP – Science and Mathematics Education Mastery Programme

SPED – Special Education Programme

SRA – Social Reform Agenda

SUC – State Universities and Colleges

TCPA– Teacher-Child-Parent Approach

TEB – Teacher Education Board

TEEP – Third Elementary Education Project

TESDA– Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Educational Fund

UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

UQPE– Universal Quality Primary Education

WB – World Bank

REPORT

Philippine Country EFA Assessment

  1. – The Internalisation and Evolution of EFA in the Philippines
  2. The State of Philippine Primary Education at the Start of EFA

    This section will deal with the presentation and analysis of EFA-related Philippine baseline data using 18 core EFA indicators and other relevant measures for early childhood development, formal primary education, and adult literacy. Table I-1 presents the baseline figures for the performance targets established under the PPA, while Table I-2 shows the baseline data for the core indicators.

    Early Childhood Care and Development

    Child Survival. The officially adopted infant mortality rate for the Philippines was 57 per 1,000 live births in 1990. There is, however, some controversy over the exact magnitude of death rates, but it is a fact that improvement in child survival between 1960 and 1990 was lowest in the Philippines compared to four other ASEAN countries. During that period, infant mortality and under-five mortality rates in the Philippines went down by only 22 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

    Childrens’ Diseases. At that time, the leading diseases among infants and children were respiratory infections and their complications, and diarrhoea. Such diseases among children lead to reduced nutrient uptake and subsequently to weight loss and weakened immune systems. Frequent sickness among children thus abets equally frequent absences or inattentiveness in class. According to the Department of Health’s statistics, respiratory infection and diarrhoea rates increased sharply from 1980 to 1990, although death rates from the same diseases fell substantially.

    Nutrition. Malnutrition causes lower IQs, poor school attendance and shorter attention spans, making the affected children more prone to repeat grades or to dropout of school entirely. Malnourished children also tend to achieve less in school. During the start of the decade, the reported iron deficiency rates were about 49 percent among infants and about 26 percent among children ages 1 to 6. Iron deficiency was then the most common form of malnutrition in the Philippines, and health experts attribute the high rate

    Table -1: Comparative PPA Performance Targets

    Table -2: Baseline Figures using Core EFA Indicators

    among infants to the fact that approximately 43 percent of pregnant and lactating women were anaemic. Iron deficiency anaemia has important adverse effects on child growth and development, including intellectual development. Aside from this, there was also an extensive and severe problem of iodine deficiency, the effects of which include cretinism, mental retardation, reduced learning capacity and hearing loss in infants and children. The World Bank and the ADB reported that a 1993 study of newborns in one Manila hospital revealed that 30 percent of the babies tested suffered from subclinical iodine deficiency, suggesting the consideration of iodine deficiency as a national rather than simply a regional problem. Finally, using international reference standards, protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) in the Philippines was worse in 1992 than in poorer countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. PEM, often attributed to poverty and to the lack of purchasing power for food, has deleterious consequences on children’s physical well being particularly their physical dimensions and energy levels.

    Participation in Early Childhood Development Programmes. The results of international studies point to pre-schooling’s benefits to children, such as better socialisation and adjustment skills, higher test achievements, and reduced probability of dropping out of primary school. However, the Philippine record in 1989 showed that only about 19.5 percent of the total 0-6 years old population of 11.5 million was reached by one or more of the various forms of early childhood care and development services. Among those who managed to avail of ECD services, far less than half had any exposure to formal pre-schooling. This is borne out by the 1990 gross enrolment ratio in public pre-school programmes, which was only 7.99 percent, with a gender parity index close to 1.0. However, formal pre-school participation was lopsidedly higher in the urban areas than in the rural areas. Additional evidence of the rural disadvantage is provided by the results of a survey conducted by the DECS in 1999 especially for this purpose. The survey found that the percentage of new entrants to Grade 1 with some form of earlier ECCD exposure was 72.5 percent in 1995 (with a gender parity index of almost 1.0) such that it is very likely that the figure was substantially lower in 1990. The 1995 figure may seem high until it is realised that the high ECD exposure rate in the private sector and to some extent in the urban areas was responsible for pulling up the national figure.

    Reach of Public Day Care Centres. What made matters worse was that only 3.0 percent of the same population segment was served by public day care centres at that time, which meant that the then increasing number of mothers who had to work outside the home had to leave their children with incompetent hands, which exposed them to various hazards. Even then, parents and surrogates who managed to stay at home were observed to be generally lacking in training on early childhood care and development, engendering child neglect and malnutrition.

    Universal Primary Education

    Access to Grade 1. Notwithstanding the fast rate of growth in the school-going population, the Philippines provided a high level of access to primary education in 1990. The apparent intake rate (AIR) for new entrants into Grade 1 was 134.2 percent and the net intake rate (NIR) was 79.8 percent. Although the gender parity rate in 1990 was very close to 1.0, males nonetheless had slightly higher AIRs and NIRs. The AIR and NIR in the rural areas were a little higher than in the urban areas. These figures indicate that at that time there were substantial numbers of overage and underage children entering Grade 1 for the first time, which suggests that many families were postponing their children’s schooling. Furthermore, the large difference between the gross and the net intake rates reveals that a great proportion of children of official primary school-entrance still did not enter school at the right age. The familial practice of deferring schooling for Grade 1-eligible children was therefore still being observed. There is no evidence to show that the gap between the gross and net intake rates was the result of non-admittance, since public school administrators are mandated by law and by policy to accept all children of the right age who present themselves for enrolment. Thus, when EFA was launched, the country was burdened with a huge proportion of children who were either old or young for Grade 1. This placed them in a pedagogically disadvantaged position and conceivably made teaching more difficult given the wide variance in maturity and interests among the children in the classrooms.

    Access and Participation in the Primary Cycle. For the entire primary education cycle, the gross enrolment rate (GER) was 106.8 percent and the net enrolment rate (NER) stood at 84.6 percent in 1990. Education authorities say that the relatively small proportion that was not in school was composed in the main of children who resided in hard-to-reach localities or in areas where there were no schools. Such places usually covered indigenous and tribal communities and other ethnic minorities. In addition, many were children of migrant workers or were without permanent residences. Nevertheless, while there was no issue in respect of the placement of children of the correct school-going age, the high GER was nonetheless indicative of the prevalence of overage children and repeaters within the entire primary education cycle. Compared to the first grade, where it was very likely to have underage pupils because the official entry age at that time was 7 years, the proportion accounted for by underage children out of the total primary enrolment would have diminished due to the addition of the enrolment in the other grades. The presence of a substantial proportion of overage children and repeaters could have complicated the teaching-learning situation at that time.

    Spending Levels on Primary Education. The Philippine Constitution has a specific provision that requires education to be accorded the highest budgetary priority, such that in 1990 the education sector was allocated funds equivalent to 3.07 percent of GNP. This is high relative to the allocations made for the other sectors, e.g., national defense (1.38 percent), health (0.71 percent) and transportation and communications (2.18 percent). In the same year, the primary level’s current expenditures absorbed over one-third of education sector funds, equivalent to 1.18 percent of GNP or 40.1 percent of total public expenditure on education. Translated into per pupil basis, the primary level’s share of funds amounted to about 7.01 percent of per capita GNP. A comparison of Philippine levels of educational expenditures with other Asian countries done by Jee-Peng Tan and Alain Mingat (1992) reveals that towards the end of the 1980s, Malaysia was already spending for education something in the order of 7.3 percent of GNP, Bhutan spent 4.0 percent of GNP and Indonesia 3.7 percent. Actually, the Philippines and Bangladesh (1.5 percent of GNP) were at the low end of the spectrum; Malaysia and Papua New Guinea (6.9 percent of GNP) were at the high end. However, Bangladesh had enrolment ratios very much lower than the Philippines. In sum, then, the Philippines may have underspent in primary education at that time considering its very high gross and net enrolment ratios even if non-current or capital expenditures were added on. This is not to say, however, that low priority was given to primary education. The fact that the sub-sector absorbed 40 percent of total current public expenditure on education indicates its relative size and importance among the other sub-sectors of education. The Philippines’ total education budget supports, in addition, secondary and tertiary education including the very extensive state universities and colleges system, and vocational education and training.

    Teacher Academic Credentials. In 1990, the percentage of teachers who possessed the required academic qualifications was already 100 percent with an urban-rural parity of 1.0. Unfortunately no data was provided by the DECS on the gender distribution of teachers, but it is common knowledge that females greatly outnumber the males in the teaching force. In the public sector, teaching is a civil service post that requires, as a minimum, a relevant 4-year teaching credential such as a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education or in Secondary Education, for employment. Private sector hiring standards are higher generally, such that it can be reasonably surmised that the percentage of private school teachers with the proper academic preparation would have been about the same as in the public sector. It would not have been difficult for the Philippines to post such a high level of academic qualification among its teachers even that early, since there had historically been a surfeit of teachers. Annually, the many teacher education institutions turn out vast numbers of teaching graduates who cannot all be absorbed into the system primarily because of their sheer numbers and secondarily because many of them do not pass the teachers’ certification examinations.

    Teacher Certification. On the other hand, the percentage of public primary school teachers who were certified to teach according to national standards was 93.6 percent with an urban-rural parity index of 0.98. The total number of public primary school teachers was approximately 310,000 in 1990. Certification for public school teachers at that time (1990) meant that the teacher had passed the required tests administered by the Teacher Examination Board of the Professional Regulations Commission. This requirement was and still is, not imposed on private school teachers. Roughly only 35 percent of teaching graduates who sit for the exams pass every year. The 6.4 percent of teachers who were not certified would have been composed mostly of substitute or temporary teachers assigned in far-flung areas where qualified teachers were difficult to obtain and where properly certified teachers would have had second thoughts about being assigned. Therefore, the Philippines at the start of EFA was handicapped with having had about 20,000 teachers who were not duly certified. These teachers may have been less effective in imparting knowledge and in using instructional materials; and being mainly situated in the difficult-to-reach areas, they would not have been able to contribute much to closing the gap in student achievement between the advantaged and the disadvantaged localities.

    Pupil-Teacher Ratios. At the start of EFA, primary school pupil-teacher ratios in the Philippines were 33:1 for the public sector and 35:1 for the private sector. Both had urban-rural parity indices close to 1.0. While these are seemingly attractive ratios being lower than the internationally accepted standard of 40:1, nonetheless these gross ratios have not been netted out for the presence of non-teaching teachers. In the country’s context, there is a substantial proportion of such teachers. They have been termed as such since they are both academically qualified and professionally certified but are assigned to administrative and clerical work such as school canteen management, records keeping and other non-academic jobs. This is quite a common occurrence since budgetary limitations prevent the provision of a full personnel complement for the individual schools. Their inclusion in the derivation of the pupil-teacher ratio therefore distorts the picture of the actual classroom situation by resulting in deceivingly low figures. For 1990, the true classroom pupil-teacher ratio was 40:1 with an urban-rural parity of close to 1.0 when the non-teaching teachers were removed from the computation (see Table I-3 below). While this was not indicative of congestion, it was nonetheless suggestive of inappropriate utilisation of qualified manpower.

    Table -3: Pupil-Teacher Ratios in Primary Education (1990)

    Internal Efficiency. The 1990 average repetition rate in the public primary schools was 1.96 percent, but that for males (2.45%) was more than 1.5 times that of female repetition. Moreover, the rural repetition rate (2.25%) was 1.4 times that of the urban rate (1.65%). But considering that the Philippines had both high levels of enrolment and gross enrolment ratio, the nearly 2.0 percent repetition rate translated to approximately 230,000 pupils who repeated their respective grades. The seemingly low percentage thus masked a substantial level of inefficiency that occurred in the educational system at that time. Using recurrent costs per pupil (Pesos 2,281 at 1993 prices) derived by the World Bank, the wastage brought about by repetition in 1990 was equivalent to half a billion pesos. In turn, this wastage represented some 4 percent of total public current expenditures in the same year. While this may look absorbable in terms of percentage, what is crucial is the opportunity cost of the loss, which could have otherwise been expended for the provision of additional educational inputs. However, what is distressing in the repetition rate is that in 1990 the incidence of repetition was highest in Grade 1, tapering off the higher grades, as seen in Table I-4 below. Repetition in Grade 1 was nearly 1.5 times that of the repetition in Grade 2, but the combined repetition in Grades 1 and 2 was in fact higher than the combined repetition rates for Grades 3 to 6. Obviously, this had implications on the preparation for school of the younger children and should have highlighted the need for focusing more attention and effort to ECD at the commencement of EFA.

    Table -4: National Repetition Rates by Grade

    In 1990, the nationwide survival rate to Grade 6 was only 62.7 percent, with females having a 66.0 percent rate and males having a rate of 59.7 percent. The low level of cohort survival was abetted by the high annual dropout rate, which was 7.6 percent nationwide in 1990. Survival rates were higher for both males and females in the rural than in the urban areas. Within each locale, however, females consistently had a higher rate of survival. The corresponding overall coefficient of efficiency in 1990 was 77.3 percent in 1990, suggesting a high level of wastage approximating one-fourth of every cohort of pupils. There was a slightly higher coefficient for females as reflected in the gender parity index of 1.1 at that time. The coefficient of efficiency was substantially higher in the rural areas than in the urban areas, with females consistently having a small edge over the males.

    Learning Outcomes

    A primary-level achievement test given in 1988 to Grade VI pupils resulted in a mean competency score of only 55.22 percent, sharply below the standard 75%. There was a big disparity in mean scores between the developed and the depressed areas of the country. It was, however, only a one-time test that DECS did not repeat in the subsequent years. In 1993, however, the DECS started the annual administration of a standardised instrument called the National Elementary Achievement Test (NEAT) that permitted a year-to-year comparison of learning accomplishments among school children. Thus, in 1993, the results of the first NEAT showed a mean achievement score of 41.8 percent against the 75.0 percent desired level. Even if the two tests cited above are not exactly comparable, they at least give an indication of the level of achievement among Grade VI pupils. The fact that the mean scores in both tests were way below the benchmark 75 percent meant a very serious shortcoming in the delivery of learning. Additional data that came from the compilation of the core EFA indicators reveal that in the NEAT tests for 1995, the percentages of Grade VI pupils who mastered basic learning competencies were only 59.0 percent for reading/writing, 67.7 percent for mathematics and 61.7 percent for life skills. This finding provides more evidence that a large proportion of primary school pupils who were already at the end-stage of the cycle still had not managed to absorb and retain what they have learned. Unfortunately, this condition once again points to a very disturbing drawback that far outweighs the inefficiency and wastage brought about by low survival rates and high dropout and repetition rates. In contrast to this, the literacy rate among 15-24 year olds, which is one proxy measure for the educational system’s effectiveness in imparting the basic skills of reading and writing, stood at 96.6% with a gender parity index of 1.0 in 1990. The high level of literacy within this particular age group reflects the recent outcomes of the educational process. Therefore, when the literacy rate is analysed in relation to the results of achievement tests, it raises the question of whether primary level education is on the whole good only at developing simple reading and writing skills and not much else. It is no wonder then that the 1989 functional literacy rate among the population 10 years and older (73.2%) was appreciably lower than the simple literacy rate for the same population segment (89.8%). If that is so, there was then very little justification in having maintained a six-year primary cycle producing skills that could have been achieved more efficiently and as effectively through a shorter and less expensive programme.

        1. A Note on the NEAT in the Philippines

The National Elementary Achievement Test (NEAT) is an achievement test primarily designed to assess abilities and skills of beginning Grade 6 pupils in all public and private elementary schools in four subject areas Mathematics, English (Language and Reading), Science and HEKASI (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika or Geography, History and Civics). Each subject area test is composed of 40 skill items for a total of 160 items for the whole test. The learning skills covered by each subject area were taken from the Minimum Learning Competencies (MLC) prescribed for beginning Grade 6 school children. The MLC served as the curriculum content of the New Elementary School Curriculum (NESC) under the Programme for Decentralised Education (PRODED). In every examination year, a Table of Specifications is designed jointly by the Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE) and the National Educational Testing and Research Centre (NETRC) to determine the coverage of NEAT. These two agencies come to an agreement as to which items are to be included in the final form of the test. These test items are mostly of the high ordered skills, validated and item analysed. In addition, a pool of consultants is organised to share their expertise in the test development phase. The NEAT has been used over the years to determine the performance variations among population groups of Grade 6 pupils (e.g., regional level, division level, school types, etc.)

Adult Literacy

In 1990, the simple literacy rate among 15+ year olds was 93.6 percent with a gender parity index of 0.991. Although this literacy level was high at that time for developing country standards, there nonetheless were an absolute number of about 2.3 million illiterate adults. Since the literacy rate among the narrower age group of 15-24 year olds as presented above was higher at 96.6 percent, it meant that many of the non-literates came from the above 24 age-group and were earlier products of the educational system. This is highly probable, considering that for the past 30 years the gross enrolment ratio in the primary level had always been more than 100.0 percent. This may or may not be a reflection of the capability of the educational system during the earlier years, but the fact is that in 1990, they had become a big burden in terms of providing them the basic literacy they needed.

Conclusions

At the start of the EFA decade, the primary education sub-sector in the Philippines was characterised by very impressive levels of access and participation. The sub-sector also exhibited a great need for substantial improvements in quality in general and in internal efficiency and learning outcomes in particular, which usually arises when quantitative expansion is accorded higher priority by predecessor educational development policies. Participation rates were high with no significant gender or urban-rural differences, but repetition, dropout and survival rates were marked by highly upgradeable magnitudes and appreciable differences in gender and urban-rural performance. The urban areas and female pupils did better in terms of these efficiency indicators than the rural areas and the male pupils, respectively. Moreover, there was very little variation among and within regions with respect to the same measures, indicating that the internal efficiency problem was a consistently pervasive issue nationwide.

Similar challenging patterns obtained for learning outcomes measured in terms of mean achievement scores and the percentage of pupils mastering certain basic competencies. However, these developed against the background of the adequate provision of academically qualified and professionally certified teachers in numbers that resulted in internationally acceptable pupil-teacher ratios. What these point to is that although the constitutional mandate to ensure universal access to education had been largely complied with at the time of the EFA programme’s inception, there was still much headroom for raising the formal school system’s capability to hold its pupils and to ensure that whatever these pupils learned were effectively absorbed and retained.

Yet, there were high levels of simple literacy among both 15-24 year olds and 15+ year olds. Such that when these indicators are related to the inadequate percentages of pupils who mastered reading/writing, mathematics and life skills, it brings up the idea that while the primary education system was effective in imparting simple literacy, it was non-optimal in developing greater knowledge. The comparatively lower level of functional literacy should lend credence to this hypothesis.

It is quite likely that the 1990 primary education situation was traceable in part to the poor preparation of children for schooling. Pre-school children at that time were becoming increasingly vulnerable to diseases and malnutrition that decreased their chances of survival in school. Moreover, there was a low rate of attendance in formal pre-school programmes, a situation not eased by the very low intake of public day care centres. Even as late as 1995, new entrants into Grade 1 who had some form of prior early childhood care and development (ECCD) exposure were mostly enrolees in private schools and in the urban areas. The situation in 1990 must have been worse, since at that time the growth of public pre-schools had not yet picked up. The fact that repetition in Grade 1 was the highest among the six grades of primary education reflects the inadequacy of preparation among the young children. All told, the children with which the formal education system had to work with at the beginning of EFA were generally handicapped by serious deficiencies in their personal constitution and in the skills they needed to successfully go through the absorption of learning.

2. Philippines EFA Goals and Targets

This section states the quantitative EFA targets for 2000. The officially established Philippine EFA targets are those identified under the PPA, using indicators shown in Table I-5 below. However, these targets have undergone two revisions during the last nine years. The first occurred as an offshoot of the mid-decade EFA review in 1994. The DECS incorporated the relevant revisions in its Master Plan for Basic Education: 1996-2005 (MPBE), released in 1995. Although the changes affected only three of the PPA targets, the revisions made both in terms of performance levels and target years complicate matters for this assessment. The MPBE effected the following: (a) lowered the participation rate target by one percentage point and postponed goal attainment by one year to 2001; (b) increased the cohort-survival rate by five-percentage points, to be achieved in the year 2005; and (c) lowered the objective for the elementary achievement level to 73.6%, also to be reached in 2005. The MPBE, however, did not include interim or year-to-year targets for these indicators, precluding any end-of-decade assessment of achievement. The ECD, dropout and literacy targets were not touched.

Later in 1999, Philippine authorities made a second revision and embodied the new targets in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP). The changes reflect the trends already established after eight years of EFA programme implementation. Not surprisingly, the new targets represent a drastic departure from what is now in hindsight the very ambitious objectives set in the PPA. However, this assessment cannot procedurally accept the MTPDP as valid targets against which to gauge Philippine performance, late as they have come towards the end of the EFA decade. The present assessment will at best consider the MTPDP figures as projections of performance levels in 2000, since these were set with eight years’ worth of data on hand and with definitely much more reliable information than were available during the EFA planning stage and even during the mid-decade review.

Thus, the MPBE remains as the only source of EFA target revisions. The assessment will make use of the original PPA all throughout, but will superimpose the MPBE targets on the analysis when they are relevant. Since there were no targets established along the lines of the 18 core indicators, these will instead be utilised to measure progress or improvements in the educational situation through the comparison of the latest data with those of the baseline numbers.

Table -5: Comparative EFA Performance Targets

ECCD Targets

Table I-6 on the following page shows the annual national targets for increased ECCD services. The targets were measured in terms of the number of children aged 0-6 years to be served. From a baseline figure of 2.25 million in 1989, the number of beneficiary children was expected to rise to 5.5 million in 1995 and 12.1 million in 2000. Chart I-1 below shows the targeted trend in the increasing coverage of the 0-6 population by ECD services.

Table -6: National Targets for Early Childhood Care and Development, 1991-2000

Figure -1: Targeted Coverage of ECCD Programmes

The EFA planners expected the ECCD programmes to reach 44.6% of the relevant population by 1995 and 90% by the year 2000, very much higher than the 19.5% coverage for 1989. Chart I-2 below shows the rising percentage of coverage against the declining percentage of non-coverage by ECCD programmes. An important milestone, the transition point where ECCD coverage shifts to reaching more than one half of the 0-6 population, was to have occurred in 1996.

Figure -2: Milestones in the Targeted Growth of ECCD Coverage

Chart I-3 further shows that the targeted growth in ECCD coverage among the 0-6 population was expected to rise at a much faster rate than the growth in the relevant population segment. Thus, the plan was to decisively close the service coverage gap within the span of a decade through this strategy.

Figure -3: Expected Growth Rates in Target Population and ECCD-Covered Segment

Agencies concerned with ECCD deliver their services through four modalities – through day care centres, homes, pre-schools and health centres or clinics. Coverage targets in terms of the number of children to be reached were thus set for each of these modes, as shown in Chart I-4 below. The reach to the other beneficiaries, such as parents has been included in Table I-6. The outreach of centre-based, home-based, school-based and clinic-based services was targeted to expand from 1.0 million, 0.3 million, 0.323 million and 1.9 million children, respectively, in 1991 to 3.2 million, 0.3 million, 1.28 million and 2.4 million, respectively by the end of the EFA period.

Figure -4: Coverage Targets of ECCD Modalities

UQPE Targets

Net Enrolment Rate. Under the PPA, the net enrolment rate was to increase from 99.1 percent in 1989 to 100.0 percent in 2000. The MPBE reset the goal to 99.0 percent in 2005. This measure and its computational methodology are similar to that of Core EFA Indicator 6 – Net Enrolment Ratio (see Chart I-5).

Figure -5: PPA & MPBE Targets for the NER in Primary Education

Cohort Survival Rate. Under the PPA, the cohort survival rate (CSR) was to increase from 68.7 percent in 1989 to 80.0 percent in 2000. The MPBE reset the goal to 85.0 percent in 2005. The effective new target for 2000 is therefore approximately 78.0 percent by estimating from the MPBE trend line. This measure and its computational methodology are similar to that of Core EFA Indicator 13 – Survival Rate to Grade VI (see Chart 6 below).

Figure -6: PPA & MPBE Targets for the CSR in Primary Education

Dropout Rate. Under the PPA, the dropout rate was to decrease from 7.6 percent in 1989 to 2.0 percent in 2000. The MPBE did not change this target (see Chart I-7 below).

Figure -7: PPA & MPBE Targets for the Dropout Rate in Primary Education

Mean Achievement Score. Under the PPA, the mean achievement score was to rise from 55.2 percent in 1989 to 75.0 percent in 2000. The MPBE reset this goal to 73.6 percent in 2005. The effective new target for 2000 is therefore approximately 65.0 percent by estimating from the MPBE trend line (see Chart I-8 below).

Figure -8: PPA & MPBE Targets for the Mean Achievement Score

Table I-7 on the following page shows the details of the national and regional targets established for the UQPE component.

Literacy Targets

Under the PPA, the nationwide simple literacy rate was to increase from 89.8 percent 1989 to 98.0 percent in 2000, while the functional literacy rate was to increase from 73.2 percent in 1989 to 85.0 percent in 2000. The MPBE did not revise these goals (see Chart I-9 below).

Figure -9: PPA Targets for Simple and Functional Literacy

Table -7: National and Regional Targets for UQPE


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