Bilateral discussions between Australia and the Philippines in 2011 jointly identified applied research on teacher quality as a priority area for cooperation. This led to the partnership between the Philippine Normal University—the National Center for Teacher Education in the Philippines, and the Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) National Research Centre based at the University of New England (UNE) Australia. The partnership gave birth to the establishment of the Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) in October 2012.
RCTQ was formally launched and opened on February 15, 2013 at the Philippine Normal University. The event was graced by the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Hon. Bill Tweddell; the Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), Br. Armin Luistro, FSC; the Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan; officials from UNE and PNU and other stakeholders representing international and national organizations, institutions and business sectors based in the Philippines. Supported by the Australian Government, RCTQ aims to conduct high-impact applied research directed at strengthening teacher quality in the Philippines.
At the RCTQ launch in 2013, then Ambassador Bill Tweddell said,“RCTQ is supported by the Australian Government as part of its broader assistance to the Philippines’ education sector. Australia believes that investing in quality education will provide better opportunities for all. It is a pathway out of poverty for the most disadvantaged.”
The Center was established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Vice Chancellor of UNE, Dr. Jim Barber, and then President of PNU, Dr. Ester B. Ogena.
RCTQ supports PNU in its mandate as the National Center for Teacher Education. Based on Republic Act 9647, PNU is mandated to
“(a) Provide technical support to the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in their programs and projects that chart policies and recommendations on teacher training, teacher education, continuing professional education of teachers and academic supervisors, and teacher education curricula; (b) Build and develop a database of education policies to serve as a resource to the country’s policymakers; (c) Conduct researches, case studies, and other appropriate methodologies to enhance curriculum and training designs for teacher training, teacher education, and continuing professional education of teachers and academic supervisors; and (d) As may be directed by Congress, provide assistance to legislators in the design and analysis of legislative proposals concerning teacher training, teacher education, continuing professional education of teachers and academic supervisors, teacher education curricula, and other issues affecting teacher education.”
During the Celebrating RCTQ Partnerships event in August 2019 where the PNU and UNE partnership was renewed, Dr. Ma. Antoniette Montealegre, Officer in Charge of the PNU Office of the President, said: “the establishment of RCTQ seven years ago was a very timely development vis-a-vis our ongoing work with the National Network of Normal Schools (3NS) in collaborating for research, teacher training, and curriculum development–all for improving teacher quality in the country. RCTQ became our huge platform for undertaking research that helps shape our country’s education policies.”
At the same event, Dr. Rosemarievic V. Diaz, PNU Vice President for Research, Planning & Quality Assurance, said that “the establishment of RCTQ demonstrated Philippine Normal University’s leadership role in the initial and continuing education of teachers in the country.”