Math, science proficiency bill refiled 

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SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian has refiled a bill requiring the government to set up math and science high schools in all provinces. 

“Innovation in our country depends on Mathematics and Science,” the head of the Senate education committee said in a statement in mixed English and Filipino on Monday. “Every province in the Philippines should have a math and science high school that will produce our mathematicians, engineers and scientists.” 

Under Senate Bill 476 or the proposed Equitable Access to Math and Science Education Act, the Department of Education (DepEd) must enforce a six-year integrated junior-senior high school curriculum that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Filipino students ranked second to the last in math and science among learners in 79 other countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2018 program for international student assessment. It was last among 58 countries in the 2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. 

Only 17% of Filipino Grade 5 students met the minimum standards in Mathematics, according to the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics 2019 of United Nations Children’s Fund. 

“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 nation’s economy as it relies on a workforce proficient in math and science,” Mr. Gatchalian said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan