Wake Up, Philippines!

In math, RP girls outshine boys

Posted in Education, News Feature, Schools, Students, Women by Erineus on March 21, 2009

By Helen Flores Updated March 13, 2009 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines – An international study has revealed that Filipino women are better in math than their male counterparts.

The Science Education Institute (SEI) said two studies of the Trends in International Science and Mathematics Study (TIMSS) consistently showed that Filipina students do better in math than their male classmates.

The 2003 TIMSS Philippine Report for Grade 8 Mathematics showed that Filipino female students were “significantly better” than boys, overall and in the items of Number, Algebra, and Data.

The study also showed that in terms of average percent correct score by cognitive domain, Filipina students bested males in items involving “Knowing Facts and Procedures” and “Reasoning” by a difference of four percent and two percent, respectively.

Boys and girls performed equally on items involving “Using Concepts and Solving Routine Problems,” it said.

Male students were better by a difference of one percent in Geometry, are equal in Measurement, but the girls performed better than the boys in Number, Algebra, and Data by a difference of three, four, and two percent, respectively, the study said.

SEI, education-arm of the Department of Science and Technology, said an earlier study by TIMSS showed the same outcome in relation to performance by girls and boys.

In TIMSS-Repeat, which was done in 1999, Filipina students “performed relatively better” than the boys in all areas of mathematics.

“In three content areas and overall performance, Filipino girls did better than Filipino boys,” the TIMSS-Repeat study said.

Filipino girls performed well in Fractions and Number Sense; Data Representation, Analysis and Representation; and Algebra. In Measurement and Geometry, Filipino girls did as well as Filipino boys, the study said.

“This is in contrast to other international studies which show that male students are better in mathematics than females, except in algebra,” the study said.

SEI said last year, 118 science and technology oriented schools from the 16 regions in the Philippines took part in the TIMSS-Advanced which was aimed at gauging the performance of students in the country in relation to advanced science and mathematics.

TIMSS 2003, third in a series of studies, offers a state-of-the-art assessment of student achievement in science and mathematics at the fourth and eighth grade levels.

SEI said data provided by TIMSS are useful for participating countries to reassess their programs in mathematics and science, and to examine and revise existing practices in curricular provision, textbook design, teacher preparation, school organization, and instructional practice.

The TIMSS is an international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth- and eighth-grade students around the world.
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Guidelines on students’ drug tests out

Posted in Dangerous Drug Board, Dangerous Drugs, Education, Schools, Students by Erineus on February 3, 2009

MANILA, Philippines — The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has released “clarificatory guidelines” on random drug tests to “allay public apprehension and clear alleged human rights violations” over tests the government will conduct in schools across the country, DDB chairman Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Monday.

The tests, originally scheduled to begin Monday, have been postponed to Wednesday.

In a statement, Sotto stressed that random drug testing is “preventive rather than punitive” in nature and are aimed at preventing illegal drug use among students and rehabilitating those found to be drug users.

The DDB guidelines lay down the objectives of the drug testing and how this will be conducted, as well as the different ways students found to be drug users will be treated.

“Random drug testing for students is considered by the government as entirely a ‘health’ issue and aims to provide services, to those who will be tested positive for dangerous drug/ use that will help the student stop further use and abuse of the substance,” the guidelines said.

“The drug testing program and results of testing shall guarantee the personal privacy and dignity of the students and shall not be used in any criminal proceedings,” the document added.

Sotto emphasized that the results of the drug tests will be confidential.

Also, he said, a “first time positive confirmatory drug test result shall not be a ground for expulsion or any disciplinary action against the student.”

But for drug dependents, “the school may impose the appropriate sanctions against the student as provided for in the school’s Student Handbook and the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools,” and allow re-enrollment after rehabilitation, Sotto said.

Students who test positive will be required to undergo three months of counseling, in coordinating with parents, by a Department of Health-accredited facility.

The government expects to conduct random drug tests in all 8,455 secondary and 1,726 tertiary schools nationwide.

Vocational school students and tertiary level faculty members will also undergo the random tests.

Results of random tests in 2007 showed that 39 students, or 0.5 percent of those tested, were positive for illegal drug use.