By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

The World Bank should issue an apology to the Philippines for its ‘insulting and shaming’ report, which supposedly used ‘old’ data, stating that most Filipino students “do not know what they should know” in school.   

This was the demand of Education Secretary Leonor Briones in a press conference on Monday, July 5, saying the Washington-based multilateral lender did not follow protocol when it failed to notify the government about releasing the report beforehand.   

“Since the country was insulted, shamed, we expect and look forward to a public apology, lalo na yung 'di pagsabi sa amin na naglabas sila ng gano'ng klaseng datos na lumang-luma,” she said.  

"Ang World Bank na nagpalabas ng datos, ito ay hindi sumunod sa protocol. Kasi kung mag-report ka on a country kailangan malaman ng country na iyon kung anong sasabihin.... Walang sabi-sabi; inuna sa media."

Briones added that while the World Bank has already personally apologized to her through a letter, it should be made public since the report has affected the country.   

The World Bank report showed poor performance of students in the country as more than 80 percent of them fell below minimum levels of proficiency expected for their grade level.   

It was based on three assessments the country previously joined — the Program for International Student Assessment in 2018, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study in 2019, and the Southeast Asia Primary Learning Metrics also in 2019.  

The Palace has earlier said it is “disturbing and alarming,” adding education agencies and institutions will discuss ways to address issues that it has raised.