Upholding quality teacher education and training entails the proper implementation of the landmark Excellence in Teacher Education Act (Republic Act No. 11713), which Gatchalian sponsored during the 18th Congress and was signed into law last April. The law, which Gatchalian also authored, seeks to improve the quality of teacher education and training in the country by strengthening the Teacher Education Council (TEC).
“Upang matiyak natin ang dekalidad na edukasyon para sa ating mga mag-aaral, kailangang iangat din natin ang kalidad ng pagsasanay at edukasyon na natatanggap ng mga guro, lalo na’t sila ang nagpapasa ng kaalaman sa ating mga mag-aaral,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
The revamped TEC will strengthen coordination between the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Under the law, the TEC will set and mandate basic requirements for teacher education programs, which the CHED will implement.
The TEC will also be mandated to establish a roadmap for teacher education, which will be submitted to the CHED for inclusion in the National Higher Education Roadmap. The roadmap will guide the designing of relevant, responsive, innovative, creative, and collaborative programs.
For his work on the Excellence in Teacher Education Act, Gatchalian received the Gawad Sulo for Public Service, the highest award given by the Philippine National University (PNU) to outstanding individuals, groups, organizations, or institutions with significant contributions to the development of education, particularly teacher education.
Gatchalian has also vowed to uphold the welfare of teachers through his proposed measures. His topmost priority measure in the 19th Congress is the Teacher Salary Increase Act, which seeks to increase the salary grades (SG) of Teacher I from SG 11 (P25,439) to SG 13 (P29,798), Teacher II from SG 12 (P27,608) to SG 14 (P32,321), and Teacher III from SG 13 (P29,798) to SG 15 (P35,097).
The lawmaker also plans to propose amendments to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (Republic Act No. 4670) to make it more responsive to teachers’ current needs.
“Ako ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa serbisyong ibinibigay ng ating mga guro para tiyakin ang magandang kinabukasan ng ating mga kabataan. Nais ko ring bigyang pugay ang kanilang sakripisyo upang tiyaking magpapatuloy ang edukasyon kahit na dinanas natin ang pandemya ng COVID-19,” Gatchalian concluded.