Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has sought a Senate inquiry into the deteriorating quality of teacher education in the Philippines.
The senator believes it is high-time the government addresses the meager opportunities for professional development among the country’s educators.
Gatchalian pointed out that even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the quality of teachers has already been a challenge in the country as shown in the results of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in the previous years.
Between 2014 and 2019, the senator noted LET results for elementary teachers showed that the average passing rate was only 28 percent, while results for secondary teacher showed an average passing rate of only 36 percent.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Gatchalian said it is imperative to look into the performance of the Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) to ascertain where and how they can improve on their teaching skills and improve their over-all performance.
He said the expertise of teachers is becoming worrisome, saying elementary and high school teachers are not equipped to teach considerable portions of the K to 12 program, as revealed in the results of the World Bank’s Philippines Public Education Expenditure Tracking and Quantitative Service Delivery Study (PETS-QSDS).
“Upang mai-angat natin ang edukasyon sa bansa, kailangan masuri natin ang edukasyon at paghahanda na natatanggap n gating mga guro upang masiguro nating handa silang tugunan ang pangangailangan n gating mga mag-aaral (To improve the education in our country, we need to check the education and the preparation our teachers receive to make sure they are prepared to address the needs of our students),” he stressed.
To date, the lawmaker noted only 620,794 out of 800,000 teachers have been trained for distance learning as the Department of Education (DepEd) reported.
Despite the creation in 1994 of the Teacher Education Council (TEC) and the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) in 1992, he noted that the teachers’ training for distance learning—a 21st century skill that a teacher should readily possess—has only commenced this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TEC is mandated to design collaborative programs for pre-service teacher training, in-service training, re-training, orientation and teacher development, while the NEAP is in charge of providing the learning and development needs of teachers and school leaders by streamlining their professional development.