Press Release
November 5, 2020

Villanueva: Education agencies, PRC must collaborate more together in maintaining standards for teachers to produce quality education

Following a "common standard" in teacher education and training would be beneficial for the quality of teachers in the country, but this would entail more cooperation from education agencies of the government, and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), according to Senator Joel Villanueva.

At the Senate joint committee hearing on the proposed Teacher Education Council Act on Wednesday, the senator cited the obvious overlaps in the functions of Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and PRC when it came to the educating and training teachers.

"Our goal here is to put an end to turfing because we've seen how this has hindered our agencies from improving the quality of teachers. Everyone wants to be in charge, but no one wants to be accountable," said Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education.

"Collaboration continues to be a challenge for our education institutions that every year we would pound on the issue of coordination and yet, there is a question on when and where they last actually met for discussions. We are aware that for as long as we don't fully address the coordination issues in our trifocalized education, all the reforms in education will hinder the benefits which we all desire to attain," he added.

At present, the common standard for teacher education is the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST), but teachers have to go through different agencies which follow different standards for their professional development. Furthermore, CHED and PRC are not involved in the development of the PPST which was designed by the Teachers Education Council, DepEd, and Philippine Normal University (PNU).

While CHED follows its Programs, Standards and Guidelines (PSGs), the Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) of PNU has revealed that this only covers 10 out of the 37 indicators of PPST. On the other hand, PRC which administers the Licensure Examination of Teachers (LET), does not release LET questions which hinders experts and TEIs from assessing whether the LET is aligned with the PPST.

"Year after year, we have seen how the lack of coordination has held back our education sector from successfully producing quality educators. This is evident in the lackluster performance of examinees in the LET for the past 10 years. Especially now that we are trying to manage the impact of COVID-19 through new normal learning methods, there is an urgent need for the concerned agencies to discuss and agree upon our standards in teacher education and trainings once and for all," urged Villanueva.

"We should not neglect teacher quality, whether in the pre-service or in-service. The teacher is at the heart of the system. And since student learning is ultimately the product of what goes on in classrooms, physical, virtual or flexible learning, the quality of our teachers and also our principals is very, very crucial," the senator added.

Villanueva co-authored Senate Bill No. 1887 which seeks to strengthen the Teachers Education Council, a body created in 1994 to facilitate the collaboration with education agencies such as CHEd, which produces teachers, and Deped, which hires most of the teachers.

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