A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE INQUIRY IN AID OF LEGISLATION ON ALLEGATIONS OF CHEATING AND OTHER IRREGULARITIES SURROUNDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST (NAT) AND THE REGIONAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST (RAT)
WHEREAS, Department of Education (DepEd) conducts the NAT yearly, and its National Educational Testing and Research Center uses NAT results in “research, evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness of the Philippine education system” and in “the formulation of educational policies geared towards the realization of an empowered and globally competitive Filipino;”
WHEREAS, early this month, Dr. Gracia Divinagracia Malazarte, Head Teacher of Lico-an Elementary School (Division of Iloilo), exposed to media and to Regional Director Mildred Garay the incidences of cheating in Iloilo, which were used to increase the District’s mean score in the NAT;
WHEREAS, these schemes, which include coaching during the examinations by teachers or advisers, were made possible with the instigation and/or participation of DepEd District and Division officials in Iloilo;
WHEREAS, Dr. Malazarte also revealed the schemes used in the entire district this year to increase the region’s mean score in the Regional Achievement Test (RAT);
WHEREAS, similar schemes had been likewise employed in other Regions in the country, such as Pangasinan, wherein, according to recent media reports, copies of the testing materials for the NAT in 14 March 2011 were used as “reviewers” for Grade Six pupils of Mangaldan Central School;
WHEREAS, informal consultations with teachers from other regions yielded similar reports of cheating, such as “open book” and “pencils up-pencils down” techniques, thereby giving rise to doubts as to the efficiency and reliability of NAT as a measurement of teaching and learning performance and of elementary and high school students’ mastery of the five subjects;
WHEREAS, the students, teachers, and other concerned parties seldom come out to substantiate or corroborate these reports, though numerous and covering several years, due to fear of harassment in the form of discrimination in benefits and in personnel movement such as promotion or transfer;
WHEREAS, witnesses to allegations of cheating who do come forward have been subjected to persecution, such as Head Teacher Malazarte, who received personal condemnation and death threats as rewards for her exposés;
WHEREAS, an investigation into the above allegations of cheating is in order, to arrest not only the corrupt practices being ingrained into the young by the very officials mandated to uphold honesty and good morals but the culture of fraud being nurtured in today’s generation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Committee on Basic Education and Culture conduct an investigation in aid of legislation into the allegations of cheating as abovementioned;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that said Committee also conduct an investigation into the reliability and credibility of the NAT as a gauge of schools’ performance and of the assessment of the Philippine educational system.
ANTONIO L. TINIO