TEACHER EMPOWERMENT. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman J. Prospero de Vera III, and the Philippine embassy in Phnom Penh launch the “Developing Global Filipino Teachers” program on Friday (Oct. 23, 2020). This aims to equip, capacitate, and enhance competencies of the 1,152 Filipino teachers in Cambodia to qualify them for teaching positions and ensure higher salaries. (Photo courtesy of CHED

MANILA – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine embassy in Phnom Penh launched the “Developing Global Filipino Teachers” program to equip, capacitate and enhance competencies of the 1,152 Filipinos teachers in Cambodia to qualify them for teaching positions and ensure higher salaries.

CHED chairman J. Prospero de Vera III and Chargé d’Affaires Myca Magnolia Fischer launched the program through a Memorandum of Cooperation on Friday as part of the government’s initiative to capacitate and qualify overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for meaningful and gainful work as teachers in Cambodia.

“The Philippine embassy in 2019 alerted CHED on the plight of some 1,152 Filipinos working as teachers in Cambodia. The majority of these teachers are not licensed to teach because they lack the proper credentials,” de Vera said.

Responding to this, CHED came up with a memorandum of cooperation for the realization of the professionalization of the 1,006 teachers who are not licensed professional teachers for them to compete and receive a higher salary.

The Developing Global Filipino Teachers program is a collaboration between the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine embassy in Phnom Penh, and Philippine universities that are centers of excellence in teacher education -- Saint Paul University, Cebu Normal University, and the Philippine Normal University.

Under the developing global Filipino teachers program, the following OFWs in Cambodia will be assisted: professionals who are not graduates of the teacher education program who intend to take the Philippine licensure examination for teachers (LET); in-service teachers who want to enhance their competencies and their impact in the classroom and beyond to understand global issues; graduates of education program but have not passed the Philippine LET; and those Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

“We cannot emphasize the importance of higher education in playing a critical role in the development of our citizens here and abroad. This memorandum of cooperation produces better collaboration and an easier grasp of the problem at hand. The solution is now within our reach, thanks to the Developing Global Filipino Teachers program,” de Vera said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. lauds the program and said despite the pandemic, CHED and the Philippine embassy in Phnom Penh have come out with a program that will ensure not only the employability of the teachers but develop their skills further.

Locsin added that he wants to see the same program being implemented in other parts of the globe.

“This program is one of the manifestations of the Filipino bayanihan spirit driving Philippine higher education during this covid-19 crisis. We grappled with the pandemic individually but we will conquer it together as one -- a one unified higher education sector and government,” de Vera said.

The virtual launch of the said program was attended by Locsin, Fischer, Cebu Normal University president Filomena Dayagbil, St. Paul University of the Philippines president Merceditas Ang, SPC, Dr. Lordinio Vergara, Philippine Normal University vice president for University Relations and Advancement and Representatives from the Teachers Learning Action Guild of Cambodia. (PR)