To help ensure coherence in improving the quality of teacher education and training in the country, Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking the institutionalization of the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), the Department of Education’s (DepEd) professional development arm.
Gatchalian made this proposal in Senate Bill No. 1887 or the Teacher Education Council (TEC) Act, which seeks to strengthen the collaboration between the DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in improving the quality of teacher education and training from pre-service to in-service.
Under the proposed measure, the NEAP will be mandated to guarantee that professional development activities are at par with the 21st Century learning environment and linked with the career progression of teachers and school leaders.
While the 2021 national budget provides for seminars and trainings to help teachers cope with the new normal way of teaching, Gatchalian said that institutionalizing the NEAP will be part of long-term efforts to make the basic education sector more robust, inclusive, and resilient, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic forced the education sector’s shift to distance learning following the imposition of restrictions on face-to-face classes. Capacity-building programs and activities on alternative modes of learning delivery were held to prepare the country’s more than 800,000 public school teachers for this shift. NEAP is one of the DepEd units that provided trainings for distance learning.
The transformation of NEAP is also part of DepEd’s initiatives on upskilling and reskilling teachers, one of the pillars of the national reform plan Sulong Edukalidad, which pivots focus from access to quality in education.
“Ang ating pagpapatibay sa National Educators Academy of the Philippines ay isa sa ating mga panukalang hakbang upang matiyak na tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagbibigay ng dekalidad na pagsasanay sa ating mga guro at school leaders upang maiangat ang kanilang mga kakayahan nang sa gayon ay maiangat din natin ang kakayahan ng ating mga mag-aaral,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.