Shekinah Jedidiah M. Alima

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed on Wednesday that the Philippines ranks among the bottom four countries in students’ creative thinking, out of 64 nations.

Photo Courtesy of Childhope Philippines.

The assessment showed that 15-year-old students in the Philippines achieved a mean score of 14 in creative thinking, and this performance is on par with countries such as Albania, Uzbekistan and Morocco.

Singapore topped the rankings with an average score of 41, followed by South Korea and Canada, tied at 38. Meanwhile, Australia scored 37, while New Zealand tallied 36. 

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, PISA launched the test to determine the student’s aptitude for the productive generation of creative ideas and thinking outside the box, which was conducted in 2022. 

PISA evaluated the students through a test that has no specific answers that will measure their capability to generate diverse ideas, creative ideas, and how they evaluate and improve ideas.

The low ranking indicated that only 3% of Filipino students can match the creative thinking mastery demonstrated by students in Singapore. 

During Vice President Sara Duterte’s tenure as the head of the education agency, the MATATAG Agenda and the Basic Education Development Plan (2030) were approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board on April 25, 2022.

“The BEDP and the MATATAG Agenda embody the major steps that we will be taking to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines,” Duterte stated at the NEDA Board meeting.

The MATATAG Curriculum aims to improve Filipino students’ literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills to make them job-ready.

In 2022, the PISA assessment highlighted that Filipino students were lagging in other areas as well, with mean scores of 347 in reading, 561 in science and 575 in mathematics.