Sen. Gatchalian delivers sponsorship speech on TEC reform bill
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian—chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture— stressed the importance of aligning the expectations of the Department of Education with the pre-service education of teachers as he delivered his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 2152, a bill that seeks to strengthen the Teacher Education Council (TEC).
Speaking at the Senate Session No. 59 on 17 May 2021, Sen. Gatchalian said that after two public hearings and six technical working group (TWG) sessions, “we are finally ready to sponsor a legislation aimed at closing the gaps and overcoming the challenges for the benefit of learner outcomes.”
Quoting a review done by RCTQ in 2017, the senator said: “A paper by the Research Center for Teacher Quality of the Philippine Normal University took a more detailed look at the PSGs in comparison with the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST). It found that the alignment of the Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSGs) with the PPST could not be placed at more than 50%. “ This shows misalignment between the expectations of DepEd, the end-user, and the PSGs set by CHED,” he said.
Senate Bill No. 2152—the substitution bill for Senate Bill No. 1887 earlier filed by Sen. Gatchalian and co-sponsored by Sen. Joel Villanueva and Senate Bill No. 1893 filed by Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.—proposes to amend RA 7784 or the Teacher Education Council (TEC) Act “to empower the Council to carry out the vision of a dynamic, modern, and equitable education system.”
“Mr. President, it is clear that the failure of our teacher education system to produce the highest caliber of educators is one of the driving forces behind the perennial education crisis,” Sen. Gatchalian further said, addressing Senate President Vicente Sotto III. “The legislation I am sponsoring today is one of the pivotal reforms needed to train and deploy an army of passionate and competent teachers who will guide the next generation of Filipino leaders taught in public and private schools alike.”
Under the proposed legislation, Sen. Gatchalian said the TEC will serve as a responsive coordinating institution for the three major government entities involved in teacher education: CHED, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and DepEd. This will ensure a fundamental link in teacher education continuum from pre-service education to in-service training as CHED and PRC serve as pre-service filters by regulating enrollment and graduation requirements in tertiary education courses and qualification before teachers enter the teaching profession mostly through the DepEd.
Sen. Gatchalian added: “DepEd is the primary end-user of teacher education. 847,450 of the country’s 1.1 million teachers are employed in DepEd schools. While DepEd has a significant say regarding in-service education, as it is the primary provider, it does not have much of a say in how pre-service education for its teachers is conducted. DepEd has zero participation in the PRC’s LET. It is only a mere member of the CHED’s Technical Panel on Teacher Education, which sets the PSGs for the teaching profession.”
He pointed out how “there is no feedback mechanism to CHED and its development of teacher curricula.” He also noted the same lack of feedback mechanism “between the DepEd and the PRC, the institution mandated to test the minimum qualifications and competencies of teachers through the Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET).
“This lack of coordination and unity among agencies involved in the teacher education continuum has turned teacher education into a fragmented and often ineffective sector,” the senator said.
“This crisis resulted in the poor performances of our learners in international assessments such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2019 and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018. Isn’t this truly alarming, Mr. President?,” Sen. Gatchalian said.
Senator Joel Villanueva, on the other hand, delivered his co-sponsorship speech following that of Sen. Gatchalian where he highlighted “three more reasons more why this bill can make all the difference in attaining better post-Coronavirus schools and in improving teachers’ and school leaders’ effectiveness.”
RCTQ and the Philippine Normal University served as resource organizations during the series of committee hearings and TWG meetings for the said reform bill. Since 2017, RCTQ has worked with the Technical Working Group for Teacher Quality (TWG-TQ) led by the Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles under the Office of the President in finding workable solutions to address teacher quality, culminating in a recommendation to amend the TEC law.
Watch Sen. Gatchalian’s full speech below:https://www.rctq.ph/?p=2645https://www.rctq.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/2021.05-Gatchalian-quote-1024x557.jpghttps://www.rctq.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/2021.05-Gatchalian-quote-150x150.jpgNewsTeacher Education Council