Voting 203-0, House approves Teacher Education Act on third and final reading
Following the approval of Senate Bill 2152 or the Teacher Education Excellence Act, the House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading its version of the bill that would strengthen the Teacher Education Council (TEC).
During its regular and hybrid session on 17 November presided by Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan, all 203 members of the House in attendance approved House Bill No. 10301, An Act Strengthening the Teacher Education Council, Institutionalizing A Scholarship Program for Students in the Teacher Education Education Program. It seeks to amend Republic Act 7784 or the Teacher Education Council Act of 1994.
Voting 203-0, House approves on final reading HB 10301, strengthening the Teacher Education Council and institutionalizing a scholarship program for students in the Teacher Education Program.
Committee Report: https://t.co/ISm2Y52W92
— House of Representatives of the Philippines (@HouseofRepsPH) November 17, 2021
At the bill’s second reading on 10 November 2021 where amendments were proposed and accepted, Rep. Roman Romulo (Pasig City)—chair of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture (CBEC) and principal author of the bill—appealed to his fellow legislators to approve the bill as it will strengthen the mandate of the Department of Education-led TEC.
“It is time that we authorize the Department of Education to take authority over minimum standards and qualifications given to our students taking up education courses in the tertiary level,” Rep. Romulo said. Setting the minimum requirements for teacher education programs offered by teacher education institutions (TEIs) is currently being handled by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through its Technical Panel for Teacher Education.
“It is the view of the committee that this must now be transferred completely to the TEC headed by DepEd. The DepEd has about 900,000 teachers and with this, they are the agency that knows best what is needed by our students, what exactly should be learned by our teachers,” the representative of lone district of Pasig City said.
Rep. Romulo also stressed the need for the Profesional Regulation Commission (PRC) to share examination questions that they gave during previous Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) with the TEC.
“Currently, DepEd does not know the questions being asked when it comes to licensure examinations. Under this proposed bill, we are requiring the PRC to provide the TEC headed by the DepEd with the list of the questions that they had asked in the previous examinations in order for DepEd to see the relevance of the exams, and provide guidance and suggestions for the subsequent examinations,” Rep. Romulo said.
Back in October 2020, RCTQ, with PNU President Bert Tuga and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, met with Rep. Romulo to discuss the first draft of the said legislation including its importance and urgency. In January 2021, Rep. Romulo filed his version of the bill.
Under the proposed bill, apart from setting the minimum requirements for teacher education programs, the TEC will also “identify and designate among existing private and public schools, teacher education institutions as Centers of Excellence for Teacher Education at the national, regional, and provincial levels.” The Council will be mandated to “formulate policies and standards that shall strengthen and improve the system of teacher education in all existing public and private schools.”
Also proposed in the House Bill 10301 is the function of the TEC to “adopt an adequate and effective system of incentives such as scholarship grants, loan programs, subsidies, stipends and other similar benefits and incentives, in order to attract and encourage outstanding high school graduates to pursue teacher education.”
The Senate version of the bill—Senate Bill No. 2152 or the Teacher Education Excellence Act—was unanimously approved on its third and final reading on 20 September 2021 with all 23 attending senators voting in the affirmative. RCTQ helped draft both the Senate and House versions with the Malacanang-led Technical Working Group for Teacher Quality (TWG-TQ).
The legislative reform for the TEC was a product of the discussions of the Technical Working Group for Teacher Quality (TWG-TQ), an interagency body led by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles where RCTQ served as a member. (Read: “If we want to aim high as a nation, we need to support our teachers” – Nograles)
The work of the TWG-TQ was supported by President Rodrigo Duterte who, in 2019, directed the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat headed by Sec. Nograles to organize a “national effort for quality basic education” and to conduct interagency discussions towards this purpose.
PNU and RCTQ leaders were among the resource persons during the series of Committee hearings both in the Senate and in the lower house in 2020 and 2021.
Joining Rep. Romulo as co-authors of the bill are Representatives Weslie Gatchalian, Mark Go, Eric Yap, Angelo Marcos Barba, Joy Myra Tambunting, Lawrence Fortun, Gabriel Bordado Jr., Marlyn Alonte, Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Kristine Alexie Tutor, Florida Robes, Dahlia Loyola, Jose Tejada, Alfel Bascug, Allan Benedict Reyes, Amihilda Sangcopan, Carl Nicolas Cari, Estrellita Suansing, Glona Labadlabad, Hector Sanchez, Irene Gay Saulog, John Marvin Nieto, Jose Ong Jr., Joseph Lara, Leonardo Babasa Jr., Lorna Bautista-Bandigan, Cuaresma, Maria Fe Abunda, Maricel Natividad-Nagaño, Maximo Dalog Jr., Micaela Violago, Resurreccion Acop, Rosanna Vergara, Ruth Mariano-Hernandez, Tyrone Agabas, Virgilio Lacson, John Reynald Tiangco, Henry Villarica, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Rufus Rodriguez, Deogracias Victor Savellano, Cristal Bagatsing, Elenita Milagros Ermita-Buhain, Junie Cua, Rudys Caesar Fariñas, Jose Enrique Garcia III, Greg Gasataya, Ed Christopher Go, David Suarez, Fernando Cabredo, Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, Abdullah Dimaporo, Alan Dujali, Michael Gorriceta, Eduardo Gullas, Godofredo Guya, Edward Vera Maceda, Mario Vittorio Mariño, Ma. Lucille Nava M.D., Alyssa Sheena Tan, Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Arlene Brosas, Juliet Marie Ferrer, Ciriaco Gato Jr., Ron Salo, Ma. Victoria Umali, and Ann Hofer.
In the Senate, the bill was filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, and was co-authored by senators Joel Villanueva, Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Ralph Recto (RCTQ/AYana).
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