The incoming Marcos administration should effectively address the crisis hounding the education sector by making sure teachers have access to quality education and training.
Gatchalian, who is keen on retaining his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the 19th Congress, said the Department of Education (DepEd) should prioritize immediate and effective implementation of the Excellence in Teacher Education Act or Republic Act No. 11713 which seeks to revamp the Teacher Education Council (TEC).
The senator said this will improve the quality of teacher education and training from pre-service to in-service.
“Kung maganda ang mismong pundasyon ng mga guro, inaasahang dekalidad din ang ibibigay nilang klase ng pagtuturo sa mga estudyante nila (If teachers have a better foundation, we can expect that they can give quality teaching to their students),” Gatchalian said.
Incoming Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio is expected to take the helm of the Department of Education (DepEd) as the new administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. officially takes over government operations in a few weeks.
Gatchalian reiterated his belief that Vice President-elect has the political capital to effectively implement reforms like the Excellence in Teacher Education Act.
Under the law, the DepEd Secretary will be the Chairperson of the TEC, with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson as the Vice-Chairperson.
“We are in a very unique position because no less than the second highest official of our land will now lead the Department of Education, carrying with her 60 percent of the votes of the Filipino people,” said Gatchalian.
The senator stressed that in introducing reforms “we need political capital. We also need political will.”
“But the political capital is something we need to exploit in order to launch a lot of the reforms specified in the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030,” Gatchalian added, referring to the roadmap that the DepEd recently launched to improve the delivery and quality of basic education.
According to Gatchalian, the Excellence in Teacher Education law aligns with the BEDP 2030.
He said the law mandates the TEC to set basic requirements for teacher education programs. This is to ensure a strong and transparent link between the outcomes of teacher education programs and the professional standards for teachers and school leaders, research and international best practices.
The law also seeks to strengthen coordination between the DepEd, the CHED, and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
“We gave a lot of powers to DepEd to make sure that teacher education is seamless from pre-service all the way to in-service,” the lawmaker said.