Local Government


Feb 12, 2024, 3:06 AM
Joyce Kahano-Alpino

Joyce Kahano-Alpino


Calbayog City is in the national headlines once more - but this time, not because of the image of violence that has racked the city for years.

The entire region of Eastern Visayas celebrated with the Calbayognons as they secured the first place in the Top 10 performing school divisions in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for Grade 12.

The city obtained a 54.17 percent rating followed by the province of Western Samar in the region with a rating of 52.61 percent.

Maasin City and Southern Leyte also made it into the list placing 5th and 10th place respectively.

"As the Chairman of the Committee on Education, I am exhilarated in celebrating success with Schools Division of Calbayog City as it ranks 1st in the Top 10 Most Improved in National Achievement Test," Calbayog City Counselor Florencio Bombie said.

"This notable performance of SDO Calbayog in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for School Year 2022-2023, make us proud Calbayognons. Kudos to the collective efforts of teaching personnel, school administrators, and the unending support of all the pillars of DepEd Calbayog supported also by DepEd partners and stakeholders. Indeed! DepEd Calbayog City Shines! Padayon." the official added.

Morale booster

Back in 2020, Calbayog is the sole representative of Region 8 that made it into the list, ranking 10th with 9.45-percent rating.

This year's feat is an occasion surely worth celebrating as it showed the progress of the relentless efforts of both educators and students alike.

This also sparked the interest of the students to perform better in the coming years to beat their current percentage and maintain, if not aim for higher placement.

"Nag study baya kami hin maupay. Sunod rank 1 liwat. Go lang Maasin! “ a grade 12 student posted on her social media account.

'Rare gem'

The recent results of the NAT confirms the stellar performance of Eastern Visayas' education sector, which have curiously excelled despite challenges such as poverty, malnutrition, and congested classrooms.

As far back as November 2013, the Philippines Basic Education blog called the region a "rare gem" in the sense that it had consistently performed better in the NAT despite topping the charts in poverty rates. (Take note that this article was written in the wake of the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda that month.)

"With the profound deleterious effects of poverty on basic education, it is therefore surprising that Region VIII performs so well in the National Achievement tests," the article pointed out with statistics showing Eastern Visayas ranking second overall in the 2012 NAT (55.38 percent), second only behind the CARAGA region.

One can only deduce that the high poverty rate in the region has served as a motivator for students and parents alike to pursue their studies, although that same article lamented the high rate of dropouts and low attendance rates in the region.

By 2022, however, the situation has changed, as a report from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported a 91.53-percent enrollment rate on the first year face-to-face classes were re-implemented after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Low rankings

The latest results are also a breath of fresh air into the recent statistics revealing what concerned experts have called a "dismal" state of Philippine education.

To recall, DepEd itself made a tacit admission this month that only one public school in Metro Manila scored above the minimum proficiency level in the 2022 global comprehension survey conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

That same PISA assessment showed the Philippines placing as the sixth lowest among the 81 countries and economies participating in the study, with Filipino students badly falling behind in mathematics and reading comprehension.

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