While in-service training can help the teachers with their professional development, Senator Win Gatchalian maintained that aspiring teachers should start receiving quality education and training from teacher education institutions (TEIs) during their pre-service training.
Reforming the teacher education system was one of the proposals put forth by the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture when it recognized the crisis in the education sector as early as 2020. Gatchalian added that while recognizing and declaring a crisis was the easy part following our learners’ poor performance in international large-scale assessments, the most important thing to do is to pursue and implement reforms immediately to lift us out of the crisis.
Gatchalian pointed out that most of the graduates of TEIs in the country have been performing poorly in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). From 2010 to 2019, only 35 percent passed the LET for the secondary level, while only 28 percent passed for the elementary level.
Readiness to teach the K to 12 curriculum is another challenge, Gatchalian pointed out. A 2016 report by the World Bank and Australian Aid showed that except for English elementary teachers, the average elementary or high school teacher could correctly answer fewer than half of questions on subject content tests.
To improve the quality of teacher education and training in the country, Senate Bill No. 2152 or the Teacher Education Excellence Act, which Gatchalian sponsored, seeks to empower the Teacher Education Council (TEC) and make it a responsive coordinating body among the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Strengthening the coordination between these three agencies will align pre-service and in-service education to improve the quality of teachers and improve the quality of education in elementary and secondary schools, Gatchalian explained.
“Sa pagreporma natin sa sistema ng edukasyon, hindi na tayo pwedeng bumalik sa nakasanayan na nating gawin, at isa sa mga dapat nating tutukan ay ang pag-angat ng kalidad ng edukasyon ng ating mga guro. Kung magagawa natin ito, mapapaigting natin ang kanilang kakayahan at kahandaang maghatid ng dekalidad na edukasyon sa ating mga mag-aaral,” said Gatchalian.