4 universities undertake ceremonial signing of MOUs for mapping study of Mindanao TEIs
Four tertiary education institutions with proven track records in pre-service teacher development converged virtually on August 18 to forge partnerships that will profile and explore the quality of pre-service teacher training among teacher education institutions (TEIs) serving the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The partnership is supported by the Australian government and managed by RCTQ and its partner research institution, the SiMERR National Research Centre at the University of New England in Australia.
Top officials of the Philippine Normal University (PNU), University of New England (UNE) Australia, Mindanao State University (MSU), and the Western Mindanao State University (MSU) performed ceremonial signing of memoranda of understanding for the Mapping Study of TEIs serving the BARMM and other collaborations on Pre-Service Teacher Education under the Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao (Pathways) program, a partnership by the Australian Government, Department of Education, and the Bangsomoro Ministry of Basic, Technical, and Higher Education (MBTHE).
PNU President Dr. Bert J. Tuga, MSU President Dr. Habib W. Macaayong, WMSU Officer-in-Charge Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez and Prof. Brigid Heywood, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of UNE virtually inked the agreement at a signing ceremony attended by MBTHE Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal and Ms. Francesca Lawe-Davies, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.
“Pathways is supporting the ministry and TEIs in the BARMM to strengthen their pre-service training not only to better contextualize the unique cultures of the region but also ensuring the alignment with national standards such as the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers,” said Ms Lawe-Davies. “This important work will begin with the comprehensive study of the pre-service teacher education, recruitment, deployment and ongoing support to better understand the needs of the ministry and its TEI partners going forward.”
Minister Iqbal said that part of their “No child in Bangsamoro is left behind” advocacy is improving the educational system in Bangsamoro as a whole.
“While we still look into policies, programs, and activities to enhance a child’s performance, we would prioritize hiring and getting high-quality teachers to ensure the intellectual, physical, emotional and moral development of every child in the region. I do not doubt that this study will, in the long run, contribute to the ministry’s work in improving the situation of our educators and teaching professionals in the Bangsamoro Region,” said Mr. Iqbal.
Present at the ceremony were Prof. John Pegg, Director of the SiMERR National Research Centre; Dr. Gina O. Gonong, Director of RCTQ; Ms. Caroline Vandenabeele, Team Leader of the Pathways program. Also joining the ceremonial signing were Project Coordinators Dr. Maria Socorro Yvonne Ramos, WMSU Dean of the School of the Graduate Teacher Education; and Dr. Alma Berowa, MSU VP for Academics.
The following MSU officials were also present: Atty. Sidic Abantas, Director for Legal Services; Atty. Saadudin Alauya Jr., Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; Prof. Rasid Paca, Vice President for Planning and Development; Mr. Usman Aragasi, Board Secretary; and Atty. Renato Pacaldo, Director for Internationalization Program.
WMSU was also represented by the following officials: Atty. Jules Christian D. Marcos, University Legal Officer/Board Secretary; Ms. Marilou Alba, Finance Director; Ms. Rosalie Arcillas-Tan, University Accountant; Mr. John Paul Alvarez, Budget Officer; and Asst. Prof. Richard C. Dagalea, Executive Assistant, Office of the President.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, through his congratulatory video message, said the mapping study “will complement the efforts of national government to undertake a national initiative for quality basic education as directed by no less by President Duterte himself in November of last year.”
“The output of the study, particularly the baseline data that can be used to improve the pre-service and the TEI serving the BARMM, will be instrumental in formulating and implementing policy to improve teacher education and consequently improve the learning outcomes of Filipinos in the region,” Secretary Nograles said.
“Not only will the results of the study help our Bangsamoro government, this will also serve to inform the national government in terms of what the region needs in the area of education,” the Cabinet Secretary said in his video message.
Dr. Gonong said the partnership is “a milestone for RCTQ, being able to bring together four great universities in a special collaboration towards the improvement of pre-service teacher quality.” Dr. Pegg, whose research center started working in the Philippines with RCTQ in 2012, said “it is a source of great pride that the impact of our work has been acknowledged throughout the Philippines and for us to be able to work with so many capable individuals who genuinely care about quality education provision in the Philippines.”
“What makes this MOU signing important is that it represents, for the very first time, how we at RCTQ-SiMERR have directed our attention to BARMM. With this project we can tailor our broad experience across the Philippines, in terms of developments in quality education, to the specific needs of BARMM,” said Dr. Pegg.
Australia, through the Pathways program, recognizes the importance of teachers in improving educational performance and equity in the BARMM towards a more resilient, stable, peaceful and prosperous Mindanao. The Pathways program seeks to engage TEIs in improving the quality of the pre-service programs and, consequently, their teacher graduates.
In recent years, RCTQ has supported various TEIs across the country in improving their pre-service curriculum through Curriculum Quality Audit (CQA), a distinctive form of curriculum mapping that is anchored on the PPST, and uses international best practice in curriculum development.
Below were the ceremonial signing participants via Zoom:
https://www.rctq.ph/?p=1653NewsBARMM,Philippine Normal University,Teacher Education Institutions,University of New England