Vice President Leni Robredo said the government should declare an "education crisis" rather than be insulted by a World Bank report that cited the poor performance of Filipino students.
While the World Bank apologized for the report after it was found to be based on outdated information, Robredo said it should still serve as a challenge for the government since it was not the first such findings.
"Ang daming pwedeng gawin. Para sa akin, magdeklara na tayo ng education crisis kasi mas mabagal tayong nagre-react, mas gumagrabe yung problema natin. Sana rather than magdepensa tayo, sana hanapan ng paraan," she said.
"Sana mas bigyan natin ng importansya yung education kasi ang laki ng problema natin. Number one doon ay budget, sana bigyan ng mas malaking budget," she added.
The Department of Education has an allocation of P557 billion under the 2021 General Appropriations Act, which Robredo said was lower than the Department of Public Works and Highways' P696 billion. In previous years, the DepEd had the biggest budget allocation among government agencies.
Apart from providing a bigger budget for education, Robredo said the government should also ensure that teachers are well-compensated and trained so that they could help students perform better in schools.
The World Bank report showed that 80% of Filipino learners are unable to meet learning standards expected for their grade level. Education Sec. Leonor Briones, however, said the DepEd was not informed prior to the release of the report, and the results were based on old data.
The report was based on three international assessments held before the pandemic --- the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment, the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics 2019, and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019.
The World Bank has since apologized for the report and removed it from their website.