Students flunk key tests

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The country’s public school students do not quite make the grade in five key subjects, the latest National Achievement Tests showed.

Results of the tests for school year 2005-06, administered last March and obtained by The Manila Times, showed sixth graders and fourth-year students fared poorly in Math, Science, English, Filipino and Social Studies, the five subjects included in the tests.

The tests are administered yearly by the Department of Education to determine the performance levels of grade-school pupils and high-school students. Over 1.5 million Grade 6 pupils and close to one million fourth-year students took the tests.

In the elementary, sixth graders got mean percentage scores of 53.66 percent in Math, a big drop from the 59.10 percent for school year 2004-05. In Science, pupils scored 46.77 percent, compared with 54.12 percent last year. In English, the average was 54.05 percent, lower than the 59.15 last year.

Even grade-school pupils failed in Filipino and Hekasi (Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Sibika). They scored 60.68 percent in Filipino, down from 61.75 percent last year, and 58.12 percent in Hekasi from 59.55 last year.

The overall mean percentage score of elementary pupils is 54.66 percent, lower than last year’s 58.73 percent and below the passing mark.

Fourth-year students did worse, getting scores of below 50 percent in all five subjects. In Math they got 47.82 percent compared with last year’s 50.7 percent. In Science high-school students scored 37.98 percent, a decrease from 39.49 percent last year. In English they got 47.73 percent from last year’s 51.33 percent. They also chalked up 40.51 percent in Filipino from last year’s 42.48 and 47.62 in Social Studies, a decrease from 50.01 percent last year.

Of the 1.56 million pupils who took the tests, only 14.41 percent, or 224,840, got scores that are in the mastery level of 75 to 100 percent. This means less than two of 10 pupils achieved mastery of the key subjects. A total of 46.65 percent, or 724,718 pupils, achieved scores categorized as “near mastery” or scores between 50 percent and 74 percent.

A total of 39.14 percent, or 610,704 pupils, scored below 50 percent, or in the “low mastery” level. The passing rate is 75 percent.

High-school students fared even worse. Of the 985,754 who took the tests, only 1.13 percent, or a mere 11,094 students, scored from 75 to 100 percent in the mastery level. The bulk, 65.63 percent, or 646,979 students, scored below 50 percent.

The rest, 33.24 percent, or 327,681 students, scored between 50 percent and 74 percent.

In average scores by region, students in the elementary and high schools in Metro Manila languished at the bottom. In the elementary level, Caraga region topped the tests with 71 percent, followed by Eastern Visayas with 68 percent. Other regional scores are Mimaropa, 62 percent; Ilocos region, Calabarzon and Zamboanga Peninsula, 57 percent; Central Visayas and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 56 percent; Northern Mindanao, 54 percent; Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Davao region, 53 percent; Bicol region and Socsargen, 50 percent; Western Visayas and Metro Manila, 49 percent; and ARMM, 45.

Eastern Visayas got the highest score of 60 percent, followed by Caraga region with 59 percent. Other scores: Central Visayas, 52 percent; Cagayan Valley, Zamboanga Peninsula and CAR, 45 percent; Mimaropa, 44 percent; Ilocos region, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao, 43; Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Davao region and Metro Manila, 42 percent; Bicol region, 41 percent; Socsargen, 39 percent; and ARMM, 34 percent.

On the high-school level, Eastern Visayas got the highest score of 60 percent, followed by Caraga region with 59 percent. Other scores: Central Visayas, 52 percent; Cagayan Valley, Zamboanga Peninsula and CAR, 45 percent; Mimaropa, 44 percent; Ilocos region, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao, 43; Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Davao region and Metro Manila, 42 percent; Bicol region, 41 percent; Socsargen, 39 percent; and ARMM, 34 percent.

By JONATHAN M. HICAP

Photo by proust via flickr.com

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