DepEd issues directive for raising NAT scores

Christian Brazil Bautista

The Department of Education (DepEd) has released an order to provide “intensive supervisory support” to schools that did poorly in the National Achievement Test (NAT). The directive, which is addressed to education officials and principals, was issued after more than two-thirds of participating high schools finished with “lower average” and “poor” scores.  

“To address the need to raise the learning outcomes among the schools which were classified under the poor achievement and lower average rates, all the divisions and the district supervisors are directed to provide intensive supervision to these schools,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

The test, which is given to sixth graders and second-year high school students, divided schools into four Mean Percentage Scores (MPS), namely superior (76%- 100%), upper average (51%- 75%), lower average (26%- 50%) and poor (0-25%). Out of the 5,600 secondary schools that took the test, 67.1% had lower average scores while only 31.41% ranked in the upper average category. This was in sharp contrast to figures for sixth grade students; 36.28% of schools were ranked in the superior category, 49.62% had upper average scores and only 14.04% finished in the lower average bracket.  

The low scores are the latest in a series of setbacks with the NAT. Last month, the DepEd filed administrative charges against six people who were allegedly involved in cheating during the 2010 NATs.  Accusations of cheating surfaced last February when Dr. Gracia Malazarte, the former principal of Lico-An Elementary School, revealed that schools in Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo were involved in what was said to be a mass cheating scheme.