P235-M Aussie grant for teacher quality research
The government of Australia marked World Teachers’ Day by extending support to a research center that would help develop strategies to improve the quality of Filipino teachers.
A P235-million grant from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) will be used to establish the Research Center for Teacher Quality, a partnership between Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the University of New England (UNE) in Australia.
The project brings together two universities with a reputation for excellence in teacher education.
The UNE in New South Wales has been training educators for 70 years. It has a research center on teacher education that covers areas similar to what the Philippine center is expected to cover.
The PNU is the Philippines’ national school for educators. It is mandated to network with other universities across the country to enhance programs for teacher education.
The new research center, scheduled to open in November, is “envisioned to be the hub for research activities and policy recommendations on improving the quality of teaching in the country,” according to AusAID.
The research is considered timely as the Philippines has started the implementation of the Kindergarten to Year 12 (K to 12) program, the basic education reform initiative of President Aquino’s administration. The program aims to enhance the quality of Filipino high school graduates by adding two years to the existing 10-year basic education curriculum.
With the adoption of the K to 12 program, it is anticipated that the country will need hundreds of qualified new teachers.
AusAID said the center would cover the following areas:
Pre-service teacher growth and development —includes teacher selection criteria, course offerings, test/assignment load, development of teacher training standards in the context of K to 12 requirements and the needs of a 21st century curriculum, the effectiveness of the extended practicum model, and how information technology can help improve teacher learning.
In-service teacher growth and professional learning—includes alignment of professional standards to the requirements of K to 12.
Teacher subject and academic renewal—includes improving teachers’ professional and academic knowledge and improvements in teaching strategies and approaches, as well as classroom assessment.
Top education officials, including Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan, will compose the research center’s governing board. Other members are representatives of other government agencies, academia and development agencies.
Australia is one of the Philippines’ largest education partners. It provides roughly P2 billion in annual grants for education programs.
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