Group seeks better teaching schools to attract high achievers to education

Jaehwa Bernardo and Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2020 02:28 PM

Teacher Lanie Clemente on the opening of the school year on October 5, 2020 at the Rafael Palma Elelmentary School in Manila. After two online classes held within an hour, Clemente proceeds to assist one of the elder teachers in her school who lives in the same barangay. Emma Nanette Gumban, 55, is a special education teacher. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A non-profit organization on Thursday urged government to make the teaching profession appealing to overachieving high school students as a way to improve the quality of teacher education in the country.

Students will find teacher education attractive if government offers them scholarships to "high-quality" teacher education institutions (TEIs), said Marco delos Reyes, policy manager of the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd).

"Despite the huge number of teacher education enrollees and graduates, we do not necessarily attract the best to enter teacher education," he said at a Senate hearing.

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Delos Reyes added that there was a need to increase the number of "high-quality" schools for teaching.

"If you are going to provide a scholarship program, we also have to have a more deliberate policy to increase the number of high-quality TEIs," he said.

According to PBEd data, out of 1,572 TEIs in the country, only 74 were accredited as center of excellence (COE) and center of development (COD).

Delos Reyes said there should be a "high-quality" TEI in every region, noting that majority of such schools are in Luzon.

But Teacher Education Council Secretariat Runvi Manguerra said each region had a COE or COD except for the Bangsamoro region.

Senate Basic Education Committee Chairman Sherwin Gatchalian said government should be proactive in looking for TEIs that can be considered centers of excellence since some schools do not take the initiative to apply for the recognition.

"If government will not be proactive then the centers of excellence will not grow and not increase," he said.

Meanwhile, Juan Miguel Luz, a former undersecretary at the Department of Education, proposed to shut down TEIs that are "underperforming" or score a passing rate of below 10 percent in teacher licensure exams.

"They should not be allowed to keep operating because they're just taking money from students and not providing the kind of service that they need," said Luz, chief executive officer of schools management company Quality Education Design.

Luz said the Professional Regulatory Commission should release the questions in the licensure examination for teachers to give way for a review.

"PRC should really release the questions after the exam so that they can be evaluated and studied by independent evaluators," he said.