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Gov’t forming agency to ensure quality teaching

/ 05:04 AM January 30, 2020

BAGUIO CITY—The government is forming a body that would ensure quality teaching in all school levels, including technical and vocational schools, after determining that students had gotten inadequate training despite advances offered by the K-12 basic education program, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said here on Tuesday.

The dismal performance of students in the 2018 ranking by the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) prompted government educators to give teachers a second look, Nograles told a teaching quality summit organized by the Philippine Normal University.

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“We are last in reading, near last in science and mathematics, and we show no proficiency in science, math and English,” Nograles said, citing the country’s Pisa performance.

“The sooner we accept that [result], the sooner we can fix it,” he said, adding that they intend to review and update the K-12 program and to “upskill and reskill” public and private teachers.

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Nograles said the country needs “to give birth to a new breed of learners capable of critical thinking and ability to adapt to present and future needs,” by providing them a learning environment “where students are not afraid to share their own views.”

To set the tone for reforms at the start of the year, the Duterte administration created four teacher positions with higher salary grades in response to demands for higher pay, he said.

Nograles said the increased teacher salaries are “competency based.”

“Quality education is possible if we have good teachers. We need to put in place a system that supports teacher quality,” he said, beginning with “a body or agency or government instrumentality that we can use as oversight agency dedicated to teacher quality.”

Teacher quality

This body would bridge the gap among the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority on teacher quality standards, he said.

“The current education system is not organized to allow the three primary education departments to focus genuinely and at a deeper level on the quality of teachers and school leaders,” Nograles said.

This government agency would accredit teachers and “formulate the curriculum of teacher education institutions,” he said.

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According to Nograles, Mr. Duterte has fulfilled his promise to provide educational access to more Filipinos with an enhanced K-12 program and free college tuition.

But the Pisa ranking now requires government to improve quality teaching, he said.

Pisa, which is undertaken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, measures literacy, reading and mathematical skills of 15-year-old students in 90 countries.

During a recent Cabinet meeting, Mr. Duterte had directed Education Secretary Leonor Briones to take part in Pisa to finally determine the level of knowledge imparted to students for the last few years, Nograles said.

Previous policymakers avoided the tests knowing “we would be ‘kulelat’ (losers),” he said. “But fixing a problem starts by acknowledging there is a problem [so] we can correct it.”Citing Mr. Duterte’s midterm report for 2016-2019, Nograles said the government has made progress in improving the system, beginning with high allocations for education from P652.34 billion in 2019 to P692.6 billion this year. INQ

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TAGS: K-12, K-12 basic education, Philippine education, Philippine Normal University, Program for International Student Assessment, quality education, Secretary Karlo Nograles, teacher quality
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