TEC reform bills to ultimately benefit learners – Sen. Gatchalian
After a series of Senate public hearings last year on the draft bills that seek to amend RA 7784—the law that created the Teacher Education Council (TEC) in 1994—three Senate committees held three Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings in January 2021 to deliberate the details of the proposed legislation with concerned agencies and stakeholders.
The meetings on January 14, 21 and 28, 2021 were presided by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, joint with the Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education; and the Committee on Finance.
In 2020, Senator Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 1887 to amend RA 1994. The bill was co-authored by Sen. Joel Vilanueva, Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education. Senator Ramon Revilla Jr also filed a similar version of the bill through Senate Bill 1893.
Senator Gatchalian said that “the dismal results of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in recent years have made it more urgent to improve the country’s teacher education quality.” He noted that from 2014 to 2019, the results of Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) show that the average passing rate was only 28 percent for the elementary level and only 36 percent for the secondary level.
During the November 4 Senate hearing, Sen. Gatchalian underscored the importance of reforming the TEC: “We have to admit we have a serious problem right now. And without admitting that we have a serious problem, we would not be able to solve it. We would just go down and spiral down as we go along.”
The amendatory bills seek to strongly link the outcomes of teacher education programs to what are expected of teachers when they practice teaching.
Senator Gatchalian said: “This is an important reform because (the absence of) that link is what is causing poor outcomes of our students. We have seen studies that the curriculum in our K to 12 and the teacher education programs have very disturbing connection because the link is not pronounced. And so that is now a cause of concern because the spillover effect of that is to our student outcomes.”
In one of its position papers, the Philippine Normal University—the National Center for Teacher Education—said that while there are many ways to address the problems in education, “enhancing teacher quality brings the greatest impact especially in influencing learner outcomes. Addressing teacher quality therefore will address many other problems in basic education.”
In his talk at a Senate hearing on the same bills, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles encouraged legislators to “stand up for teacher quality.”
He said: “If we want to aim so high as a nation, we need to support our teachers. Whatever is good for our teachers is also good for the country. They deserve nothing less from us.”
The proposed bills will ensure that teacher quality is given primordial importance and teachers are supported not only during their pre-service education but across their career continuum.
Represented at the TWG meetings were the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Coordinating Council of Private Educational Association (COCOPEA), University of the Philippines College of Education, National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), Philippine Normal University/RCTQ and the TEC Secretariat.https://www.rctq.ph/?p=2250FeatureTeacher Education Council