By Mario Casayuran
More highly qualified teachers are needed to support disadvantaged students as they tend to underperform compared to their socio-economically advantaged counterparts, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Saturday.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, made the call following the release of the global survey Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, which revealed that socio-economically advantaged students in the Philippines outperformed disadvantaged students in Reading Comprehension by 88 score points.
PISA is a global triennial study that measures 15-year olds’ scholastic performances in Reading Comprehension, Science and Mathematics.
According to the study, targeting additional resources and more high quality teachers to schools with a high concentration of low-performing and disadvantaged students will ensure that both advantaged and disadvantaged children will have equal learning experiences.
“This way, learning will be the same across the board and no child should be left behind,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to offer incentives to top-performing teachers to teach in schools where they are most needed.
In Japan, for instance, officials in prefectural offices transfer effective teachers to underperforming schools so students can have equally capable instructors. In Shanghai, the government commissions strong public schools to take over the administration of underperforming schools.
“Ang layunin ng edukasyon ay magkaroon ng pantay-pantay na oportunidad ang ating mga mag-aaral. Ngunit kung magpapatuloy ang mga suliranin tulad ng kakulangan ng mahuhusay na guro, lalong mapag-iwanan ang ating mga nangangailangang mag-aaral,” Gatchalian said. (The objective of education system is to create equal opportunities to all students. But if the continued lack of qualified teachers persists, our students will be consigned to being in the last rung of ratings.)