Despite the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, 2021 has been a year full of possibilities and opportunities for RCTQ. The following are the highlights of RCTQ’s work in 2021 which are creating impact in the education sector.

Collaboration with the Senate and House of Representatives

Sen. Win Gatchalian (left), chairman of the Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, and RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong at a TWG meeting on Senate Bill Nos. 1887 and 1893 in January 2021.

The year started with RCTQ building on the gains of its work with the Malacañang-led Technical Working Group for Teacher Quality (TWG-TQ) in bringing agreed teacher education reforms to the country’s legislature. After a series of Senate public hearings in 2020 on the draft bills that sought 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. RCTQ director Dr. Gina Gonong joined the Philippine Normal University (PNU) officials in participating in and providing expert opinions at the three Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings in the Senate that aimed to consolidate and polish two Senate bills on the TEC reforms –SB 1887 and SB 1893. RCTQ helped draft the original version of the said bills.

One of the meetings of TWG-TQ attended by representatives from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary; Department of Education; Commission on Higher Education (CHED); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA), and RCTQ.

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.

Photo from a meeting between the PNU-RCTQ and Sen. Gatchalian

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. The House of Representatives followed the Senate in conducting its committee-level deliberation of its two education bills proposing to amend the Teacher Education Council (TEC) Law during the joint committee hearing and technical working group (TWG) meeting on 4 February 2021 and 11 February 2021, respectively.

A meeting between PNU RCTQ and Rep. Romulo and Sec. Nograles on 2 October 2020.

The House Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) chaired by Rep. Mark Go (Baguio City) and the Committee on Basic Education and Culture (CBEC) chaired by Rep. Roman Romulo (Pasig City) jointly tackled House Bill No. 8441 filed by Rep. Romulo and House Bill No. 7938 filed by Deputy Speaker Rep. Weslie Gatchalian (Valenzuela City).  In 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.

Later this year, the two Senate bills were eventually substituted as Senate Bill No. 2152 or the Teacher Education Excellence Act , and the two House bills as House Bill No. 10301 or the Teacher Education Act. Both substitute bills were approved unanimously on their third and final reading in September and November 2021, respectively.

Senator Joel Villanueva—chair of the Senate Committee on Higher, and Technical and Vocational Education commended the PNU’s role in the history of Philippine education, and lauded RCTQ’s contribution in introducing education reforms in the country when he spoke as guest speaker at the Philippine Normal University annual convocation on 27 January 2021. He said the Teacher Education Excellence Act is one of the landmark bills in the Senate.

Sen. Villanueva

“Sa pinagsanib na pwersa nina Dr. Gina Gonong at Dr. Jennie Jocson, may parating na malaking reporma at development para sa mga teachers sa bansa (With the combined expertise of Dr. Gina Gonong and Dr. Jennie Jocson, we will have great teacher development reforms happening soon in the country),” he said.

When the period of interpellations for Senate Bill No. 2152 concluded on 4 August 2021, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian acknowledged the role of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) and RCTQ in pushing for the said reform.

“Let me just thank various stakeholders and put emphasis on the Philippine Normal University who spearheaded the passage of this bill. It started when they explained to the Office of the President the grave issues surrounding our teachers and teacher education, and then that explanation went to various consultations. At the end, they crafted the legislation that is needed in order to make sure that our teachers are put in focus,” said Senator Gatchalian.

The two approved bills are now awaiting consolidation at a bicameral conference.

First research project in the BARMM

Dr. Bert J. Tuga, PNU President; Prof. Brigid Heywood, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of UNE Australia; Dr. Habib W. Macaayong,MSU President; and Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez, WMSU Officer-in-Charge at the ceremonial signing of MOUs for the Mapping Study of TEIs serving the BARMM on 18 August 2020.

MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal during the MOU signing for the TEI Mapping Study among the Philippine Normal University, University of New England, Mindanao State University, and the Western Mindanao State University in August 2020.

In 2021, RCTQ and the University of New England SiMERR National Research Centre successfully completed the Mapping Study of Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) serving the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under the Australia-supported Pathways Program.  The project, which brought together PNU, UNE, Mindanao State University (MSU) and the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) in one partnership, started RCTQ’s growing working relationship with the Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) led by Minister Mohagher Iqbal.  The RCTQ team worked with MSU President Dr. Habib W. Macaayong and WMSU OIC President Dr. Teresita A. Narvaez, their respective coordinators assigned to the project along with faculty researchers from 12 participating TEIs in Mindanao.

MBHTE Higher Education Director General Mr. Marjuni Maddi (top) welcomes participants to the Higher Education Forum. RCTQ Senior Program Manager Dr. Ma. Arsenia Gomez (bottom, left) presented the Mapping Study findings and recommendations, assisted by Pathways Program Research Manager Dr. Angelo Tubac (bottom, right), who facilitated the discussion following the study presentation on 15 July 2021.

The findings and recommendations of the study were presented to the MBHTE and to the Mapping Study Advisory Board before it was discussed at the Bangsamoro Higher Education Virtual Forum on 15 July 2021. The study results were also presented in separate fora to the projects’ Advisory Board on 25 May 2021 and to 13 teacher education institutions (TEIs)  based in Mindanao on 29 June 2021.

The study, which describes baseline information on the TEIs producing teachers for schools in the BARMM, provides a basis for future teacher education reforms in the region.

In recognition of RCTQ’s expertise in the field of teacher quality and teacher education, RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong was invited as one of the resource speakers at the Higher Education Management Committee Meeting of the MBHTE in Cotabato City on 17 February 2021 upon the invitation of Marjuni M. Maddi,  MBHTE Director General for Higher Education.

NEAP Transformation

RCTQ’s continuing assistance for the transformation of NEAP back to its original mandate as a full-blown academy as provided for in DepEd Order No. 11, series of 2019 (Implementation of the NEAP Transformation) was highlighted this year by its continued collaboration for the two dimensions of the transformation: Program Transformation and Organizational Transformation. On the Program Transformation, RCTQ worked with the NEAP-Quality Assurance Division (QAD) in reviewing and refining five (5) authorization and recognition application forms and tools which NEAP now uses for authorizing learning service providers (LSPs), and for reviewing their proposals.

In terms of NEAP organizational transformation, RCTQ assisted NEAP in the identification of Professional Development (PD) programs and interventions for NEAP personnel. RCTQ also co-designed the NEAP Organizational Assessment activity, and assisted in the finalization of documents for the request of additional NEAP plantilla items to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Also in 2021, NEAP and the Teacher Education Council (TEC) Secretariat, in collaboration with RCTQ, finalized the DepEd policy that will operationalize the enhanced Teacher Induction Program (TIP) which RCTQ also co-developed with NEAP. They also collaborated in integrating the RCTQ-assisted Teacher Induction Program (TIP) with DepEd’s Learning Delivery Modalities (LDM). The TIP modules are now available on DepEd’s Professional Development Learning Management System.

Collaboration with NEAP on developing relevant modules for teachers, school leaders. In 2021, RCTQ worked with NEAP in developing two sets of online modules that would support teachers as they deal with the challenges associated with the pandemic, and help them develop higher order thinking of learners.

The Development and Validation of COVID-Responsive Modules on PPST Indicators 3.1.2 and 3.4.2 produced two modules that offer DepEd teachers and school leaders illustrations of good teaching practices that elaborate two indicators of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST), namely:

“Use differentiated, developmentally appropriate learning experiences to address learners’ gender, needs, strengths, interests and experiences” (PPST Indicator 3.1.2),” and

“Plan and deliver teaching strategies that are responsive to the special educational needs of learners in difficult circumstances, including: geographic isolation; chronic illness; displacement due to armed conflict, urban resettlement or disasters; child abuse and child labor practices” (PPST Indicator 3.4.2).

These indicators are among those identified in DM 50, s. 2020 or the DepEd Professional Development Priorities for Teachers and School Leaders for School Year 2020-2023. They were also identified in the RCTQ’s PPST validation study (2016) as among the most difficult for teachers.

NEAP and RCTQ staff

The second project, Development and Validation of Professional Learning Packages (PLPs) for Mathematics, Science and English/Reading for Teachers in Grades 7 and 8, and Grades 9 and 10, was part of the DepEd’s response to the findings of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for Filipino learners.  The project aimed to provide support materials for teachers to help them develop the higher order thinking skills of their students by developing HOTS items/questions using the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) framework with answers and advice; develop guide materials for teachers on pedagogy and assessment practices that promote HOTS; and develop guide materials intended for master teachers, school heads, and supervisors to support them in their mentoring roles in schools with a focus on helping beginning teachers.

Technical Assistance to BHROD

RCTQ continues its collaboration with the Bureau of Human of Resource and Organizational Development in operationalizing the DepEd-adopted professional standards in DepEd HR systems. The Center has assisted BHROD in designing DepEd’s career progression system for teachers, which offers them opportunities for career movement, professional growth, and eventually, financial stability.

Dr. Gonong is joined by DepEd Undersecretary Wilfredo Cabral, BHROD Director III Dr. Jennifer Lopez and fellow reactors from the Department of Budget and Management, Civil Service Commission and Las Pinas National High School.

At the DepEd’s virtual Education Forum (Educ Forum) series on 6 October 2021 where the BHROD, through DepEd OIC Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organizational development, presented pathways for career advancement of public school teachers, Dr. Gina Gonong was one of the four reactors to the policy presentation which included Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Mr. Kim Robert de Leon, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chief Human Resource Specialist Ms. Sheila Acuña, and a representative of teachers, Las Piñas National High School Master Teacher II Ms. Ma. Eirish  Zulueta.

Reacting to his presentation, Dr. Gonong lauded the DepEd’s move to anchor teachers’ career advancement on the quality of teaching practice. The proposed career progression system, she said, is “comprehensive, evidence-based and, most of all, supportive of teachers.” She said “it is worthy to note that teachers’ voices are heard in the process.”

With technical assistance from RCTQ, DepEd issued guidelines for implementing the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) for SY 2020-2021 in the context of local conditions on teaching and learning, and consistent with COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. RCTQ also assisted the Department of Education (DepEd) in holding a three-day national virtual orientation on 1-3 February 2021 to provide teachers and schools with in-depth understanding of the guidelines in implementing the RPMS in the time of COVID-19.

RCTQ also worked with the BHROD–Human Resource Development Division (HRDD) in the conduct of a validation workshop on 30 June-7 July 2021 that sought to finalize the remaining Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) indicators and the corresponding means of verification (MOVs) belonging to Year 3 of the implementation of the PPST-based RPMS. 

RCTQ was also instrumental in the validation of RPMS for school heads and supervisors, as well as in the development of assessors’ programs for DepEd’s Personnel Selection Board.

Assistance on the biggest PNU-DepEd partnership

RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong delivers a brief message before DepEd and PNU participants at the LiSQuP Interim Report presentation.

Year 2021 saw the biggest collaboration between PNU and DepEd unfold through the launch of the Linking Standards and Quality Practice Program (LiSQuP) program, a joint initiative on upskilling and reskilling teachers and school leaders through customized PhD, Master’s and executive programs linked to the professional standards.

As part of PNU’s team in the quality assurance of LiSQuP programs, RCTQ helped in refining graduate programs offered under LiSQuP by giving in-depth discussions on the expectations in the three sets of professional standards (PPST, PSSH, PPSS), and the Curriculum Quality Audit (CQA) process.

The RCTQ team led by Dr. Gina Gonong attended the virtual ceremony on the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DepEd and PNU on 14 April 2021 for a partnership that was born from RCTQ’s technical assistance to NEAP.

In December 2021, RCTQ joined PNU in its interim reporting to DepEd on the implementation of LisQuP program.

Showcasing professional standards and RCTQ’s work on various online platforms

Regional Director Francis Bringas welcomes participants to the PPSS orientation for Region XII supervisors and division chiefs as well as Dr. Gina Gonong the orientation’s resource speaker

In January 2021, RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong was the main speaker at the DepEd National Capital Region-Regional Orientation on the Philippine Professional Standards for Supervisors (PPSS) attended by more than a hundred supervisors from the regional office and 16 schools divisions in NCR. In February, DepEd Region XII or SOCCSKSARGEN Region conducted a regional online orientation that deepened their understanding of the Philippine Professional Standards for School Heads (PPSSH) and the Philippine Professional Standards for Supervisors (PPSS) also with Dr. Gonong as a resource speaker.

In Region XI, the RCTQ Director also provided updates on the three sets of professional standards as she talked at the opening of the two-day virtual capacity building for education leaders in DepEd Region XI on 26 April 2021.

Applying the professional standards beyond the Philippine-based teacher community, Dr. Gina Gonong was tapped as resource speaker as PNU revisited its refresher course for Filipino teachers who are returning from overseas and are taking part in an reintegration project that allows them to practice their teaching profession. The Workshop on the Enhancement of Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir (SPIMS) modules was held on 27-29 October 2021 at Ramada Hotel in Manila and via Zoom. RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong spoke about aligning the SPIMS modules with the PPST. The SPIMS project is a collaborative project between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), DepEd and PNU for overseas Filipino workers (OFW)-professional teachers. It aims to provide opportunities for passers of Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) to return, find employment and work in the Philippines as teachers.

The RCTQ Director discussed discourses and developments related to teacher quality and teacher education institutions (TEIs) as one of the conference session speakers at the 2021 Philippine Education (PhilEd) Conference on 2 December 2021 organized by the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC). She talked about how the PPST, PPSSH and the PPSS serve as the framework for teacher and school leader quality in the Philippines, as well as the challenges and opportunities for TEIs in the country.

Dr. Levi Elipane

Dr. Levi Elipane—RCTQ Senior Manager and PNU Graduate Teacher Education Faculty (GTEF) associate professor— unpacked the notions of gender and development in the context of teacher education as he spoke before thousands of PNU social media followers at the PNU Talks – College of Graduate Studies and Teacher Education Research (CGSTER) webinar series on 4 October 2021.  Also at PNU, RCTQ Project Officer and PNU alumna Ma. Izella Lampos was featured as resource speaker at another online edition of PNU Talks webinar on 26 April 2021 where she talked about Balancing Quality and Quantity: Designing Learning Activities in the New Normal to guide teachers in addressing the challenges in designing learning activities for their students during the pandemic.

RCTQ took part in a global celebration of multilingualism as resource speakers during the 2021 International Mother Language Conference and Festival. The virtual conference was organized by education stakeholders in the Philippines led by 170+ Talaytayan MLE Inc. in commemoration of the International Mother Language Day on 21 February 2021. It aimed to “tackle the challenges in the implementation of inclusive language education policy, and examines the roles that institutions and stakeholders play in innovating and insulating solutions to ensure sustainable program implementation.” SiMERR National Research Centre Director and RCTQ Co-Director Professor John Pegg served as one of the two keynote speakers during the 2nd plenary session on Day 1 of the conference on February 21 with the topic ‘Teacher and School Leader Quality in the Philippines: Moving Forward’.

RCTQ Senior Program Managers Dr. Levi Elipane and Dr. Allen Espinosa served as session speakers on February 27 with the topic ‘Teacher and Education Quality Studies’. Dr. Elipane talked about the processes undertaken in the RCTQ-supported development and validation of the design framework and course materials for the enhanced Teacher Induction Program (TIP) of the Department of Education. Dr. Espinosa, on the other hand, discussed the embedding of the PPST in the DepEd systems through the Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS).

Welcoming new RCTQ leaders in 2021

In 2021, RCTQ welcomed three new members of its senior management team.

Former Director IV of the Department of Education – Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD) Ms. Maria Lourdes Pantoja joined RCTQ as fulltime Deputy Director. She supports the RCTQ Director in ensuring the provision of research-based policy recommendations on basic education focused on the area of teacher and school leader quality to relevant government agencies, and in leading RCTQ research and administrative teams to deliver outstanding outputs.

RCTQ also welcomed Ms. Krupskaya (Kay) Añonuevo who serves as Senior Manager for Projects, Planning and Linkages in the person. Ms. Añonuevo leads in the development and implementation of a strategic planning framework for RCTQ; and in establishing/strengthening links with relevant agencies and institutions to facilitate RCTQ research programs, projects, or activities.

Dr. Ali Anudin, a faculty member and former associate dean of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) – Faculty of Arts and Languages, joined RCTQ as its newest senior program manager.


RCTQ is grateful to everyone who, in one way or another, journeyed with the team towards making an impact in 2021, and looks forward to a more productive 2022.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, 2021 has been a year full of possibilities and opportunities for RCTQ. The following are the highlights of RCTQ’s work in 2021 which are creating impact in the education sector. Collaboration with the Senate and House of Representatives The year started...