Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for the establishment of a mandatory continuing education program for elementary and high school teachers in both public and private schools.
Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 367 or The Continuing Education for Teachers Act, which mandates the government to implement a comprehensive national program for mandatory continuing education for all primary and secondary teachers in both private and public educational institutions as well as formal and non-formal institutions of learning.
Teachers who possess a post-graduate degree are not covered by the proposed measure, but may opt to attend the program.
“As of this moment, there are no existing free programs for continuing teacher education in our country,” Gatchalian said. “Teachers are left to their own devices if they wish to further develop their training and education.”
“Acknowledging the need to continually educate our teachers and to further develop the teaching profession, this bill seeks to provide a mandatory teacher’s education program to be implemented by the government at no cost to our teacher,” he added.
Under Gatchalian’s bill, the mandatory continuing education program shall consist of at least 24 hours of mandatory continuing education activities each year, to be conducted preferably at least eight hours per day on consecutive days, at the end of every school year and before the resumption of classes.
As far as practicable, the program shall also be conducted in the school district where the teachers belong to as determined by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Moreover, Gatchalian said SBN 367 directs DepEd to create an Executive Committee, which shall be directly responsible for the effective implementation of the program. P100 million will be appropriated for the initial implementation of this program, which shall be incorporated in the annual budget of DepEd.
“Teacher effectiveness depends on whether they know what to teach and the best way to teach it,” the lawmaker said. “The environment in which teachers work has significantly changed over the past decades, yet the method of teaching has not been sufficiently adapted to the current times.”
“Unless actions to update teaching in the new environment take place, there will not be a substantial improvement in the quality of our students,” he stressed.