Philippine participation in the International Physics Olympiad: Problems, lessons, prospects, and imperatives for the Philippine physics community
The Philippines has been participating in the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) since 1993. Our most recent participation in the IPhO has shown that while we still lag behind many counties, there are signs that we have improved and, given the proper support, will continue to improve. However, sustained improvement of Philippine performance in the IPhO can only be assured with the proactive and informed intervention of the Philippine physics community. The main aim of this paper is to set the ground for this intervention by 1.) informing the community about the nature of the IPhO, the state of our participation in the IPhO, and the potential impact of our participation on secondary and tertiary physics education in the country; and 2.) challenging the physics community to participate in, initiate, rethink, and intensify efforts to: nurture students gifted in physics at an early stage in their development, raise the level of physics education in the country, create a climate of public opinion that values excellence in intellectual work.