BACK TO SCHOOL. A teacher has her students’ full attention at Aurora Quezon Elementary School in Malate, Manila on Wednesday (Jan. 4, 2023). Some schools resumed classes right after the Jan. 1 and 2 holidays. (PNA photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Marcos government has manifested its commitment to provide quality teacher education with its inclusion in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, in a news release on Saturday, said Republic Act No. 11713 or the Excellence in Teacher Education Act, signed into law last year, is highlighted in the PDP 2023-2028.

The law revamps the Teacher Education Council (TEC) by strengthening the coordination among the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Professional Regulation Commission.

Under the law, the TEC is mandated to set basic requirements for teacher education programs and ensure the coherence of teacher education and training from pre-service to in-service.

Gatchalian, chair of the Committee on Basic Education, said the teacher is the most crucial factor in education but lamented the poor results of licensure examinations over the past years.

From 2014 to 2022, the average passing rate for Licensure Examination for Teachers in the elementary level was only 34 percent, and 40 percent in the secondary level.

The World Bank's Philippines Public Education Expenditure Tracking and Quantitative Service Delivery Study also showed that elementary and high school teachers in the country are inadequately trained to teach considerable portions of the K to 12 curricula.

With the exception of English elementary teachers, the average elementary or high school teacher could correctly answer fewer than half of questions on subject content tests.

Kasabay ng pag-angat natin sa kalidad ng edukasyong natatanggap ng ating mga kabataan, mahalagang tutukan din natin ang edukasyong natatanggap ng ating mga guro. Ngayong meron na tayong batas para sa pag-angat sa kalidad ng teacher education, kailangang tiyakin natin na maipatutupad ito nang maayos dahil ang ating mga mag-aaral ang lubos na makikinabang dito (With the improvement in the quality of education, it is imperative that we also focus on the quality of teaching. Now that we have a law to address it, we should make sure that it is implemented properly because it will be for the benefit of our students),” Gatchalian said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. approved the PDP 2023-2028 on Dec. 16, 2022, with the aim to bolster deep economic and social transformation, reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction.

Gatchalian, also the co-chairperson of the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II), assured that further reforms in the education sector will be pursued.

The EDCOM II, created by Republic Act No. 11899 or the Second Congressional Commission on Education Act, is mandated to conduct a national assessment to evaluate the education sector’s performance.

It will recommend transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to make the Philippines globally competitive in both education and labor markets. (PNA)