Gatchalian eyes mandatory education programs for elementary, HS teachers
MANILA, Philippines — Elementary and High School teachers who wish to pursue higher education for free may soon be able to do so under a bill filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
Gatchalian filed Senate Bill (SB) 367 or “The Continuing Education for Teachers Act” which seeks to provide a mandatory and cost-free teacher’s education program to be implemented by the government.
Under the bill, the government is mandated 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.
“As of this moment, there are no existing free programs for continuing teacher education in our country,” Gatchalian said in a statement issued Friday.
“Teachers are left to their own devices if they wish to further develop their training and education.”
Under SB 367, 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.
The planned program shall also be conducted in the school district where the teachers belong to as determined by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Gatchalian’s bill also mandates the DepEd to create an executive committee, which shall be directly responsible for the effective implementation of the program.
As for funding, P100 million will be appropriated for the initial implementation of the program, which is said to be incorporated in the annual budget of DepEd.
Meanwhile, teachers who possess a post-graduate degree are not covered by the proposed measure but may opt to attend the program.
“Teacher effectiveness depends on whether they know what to teach and the best way to teach it,” Gatchalian said.
“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 added.
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