Breaking Norms, Accelerating Learning Recovery, Building a Case of Equity in the Philippines [CIES 2024 Presentation]

Education being recognized as a fundamental right plays a vital role in fostering inclusive societies and ensuring fair access to quality education. In this panel, we will explore the significance of education protests concerning pedagogy, curriculum, and theories. The Philippines Department of Education (DepEd), with support form USAIDs project Advancing Basic education in the Philippines (ABC+), has taken innovative steps to improve learning outcomes and reach marginalized communicates beyond traditional methods. The 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that Filipino 15-year-old students scored low in reading comprehension and ranked near the bottom in math and science among 79 countries. This raised concern about curriculum, teaching practice, the learning environments of Philippines schools, and in general the quality of education in the Philippines. It is important to note that over 90% of the students in the Philippines reported speaking a language at home different from the language used in instruction and the PISA test (English). Such language disparity significantly impacts PISA scores, and the Philippines’ linguistic diversity adds to the complexity. The Philippines is among the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. It is one of 44 nations where no single language group exceeds 50% of the total population. Estimates of the number of native Philippine languages range from 110 to 185. The adoption of Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) in 2009 recognized this diversity, explicitly emphasized the socio-cultural value of children learning in their maternal languages and put a focus on the importance of language to expanding access to education and improving learning outcomes. This panel aims to highlight innovative initiatives and strategies specific to the Philippines, promoting inclusivity, challenging norms, and reaching marginalized communities in education. It emphasizes the importance of utilizing data to advocate for Early Grade Learning (EGL) and exploring alternative investment pathways beyond traditional sources. DepEd representatives will kick off the panel presentations, focusing on Learning Recovery and providing examples of effective approaches. The second presentation will center on language mapping its relevance to the language of instruction and instructional materials used in education. The third presentation follows with a focus on the language of materials used for learning. Through research findings, case studies, and practical insights tailored to the Philippine context, this proposal aims to contribute to the discussions on education as a right, inclusivity, and reaching marginalized communities at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference 2024. The outcomes will inform policy and practice, enabling the development of impactful strategies to ensure equitable access to quality education for all in the Philippines.