THE Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill that aims to improve the quality of teacher education and training in the country. For Senator Win Gatchalian, principal author and sponsor of the measure, this is a big step forward in addressing the country’s education crisis.
Senate Bill No. 2152 or the Teacher Education Excellence Act amends Republic Act No. 7784 to strengthen the Teacher Education Council (TEC) created in 1993.
The proposed measure seeks to make the TEC a responsive coordinating body for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Department of Education (DepEd), the main government entities involved in teacher education. This will realign pre-service and in-service education to improve the quality of teachers, and in turn improve the quality of education provided in elementary and secondary classrooms.
Gatchalian flagged that graduates in Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) have been performing poorly in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). From 2010 to 2019, only 35% of secondary education LET takers passed, while only 28% of takers at the elementary level passed.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture added that in 2019, only 46 TEIs are in the Better Performing and Top Performing Categories on the Elementary LET. At least 75% of those who graduated from these TEIs passed the exam. On the other hand, there are 815 schools in the Worse or Poor Performing Categories, those with passing rates of at least 50%. At the Secondary Level, there were only 27 Better or Top Performing TEIs and almost 1,000 Worse or Poor Performing schools.
“Hindi natin maiaangat ang kalidad ng edukasyon ng ating mga kabataan kung wala ring dekalidad na pagsasanay at edukasyon ang ating mga guro. Ang mga guro ay ang mga frontliners natin sa pagsugpo sa krisis ng edukasyon kaya dapat tiyakin na mula sa kolehiyo hanggang sa pagtuturo, sila ay handa at may sapat na kakayahan,” said Gatchalian.
The revamped TEC will establish a roadmap for teacher education. It will also mandate, monitor, and quality assure compliance with minimum requirements for teacher education programs. This is to ensure a strong and transparent link between the outcomes of teacher programs, the professional standards for teachers, research, and international best practice.