Guv: Train teachers before school year starts

ASIDE from resuming the use of English as a medium of instruction for basic education, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia wants public school teachers to be trained through seminars before the school year starts.

The governor’s suggestion came after the Philippines ranked poorly in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

Conducted every three years since 2000, Pisa is a worldwide study intended to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading. The Philippines scored the lowest in reading comprehension, the main subject assessed, out of 79 participating countries. It also placed the second lowest in math and science.

In its last meeting for 2019 held at the Capitol building in Cebu City on Friday, Dec. 13, the Provincial School Board (PSB) passed two separate resolutions in response to the Pisa results. Garcia’s daughter Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco moved for a moratorium on the use of Cebuano and Filipino in teaching the core subjects beginning June 2020.

Frasco, who is also president of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines local chapter, also moved for the academics to be prioritized over off-campus activities.

But apart from resuming the use of English as a medium of instruction, the governor said having “well-rounded” teachers would also help boost academic performance.

“During the school board meeting, a point was raised from the DepEd (Department of Education) that teachers have no specialization. Even if science is not the teacher’s specialization, she is ordered to teach the subject,” Garcia said on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019.

She further said: “My simple answer to that: Christ! These are Grade 7 and Grade 8 students. Do you need to teach them PhD-level (doctor of philosophy) or masteral level of education? If you’re a teacher, you’re supposed to be well-rounded... Why are we making that an excuse? If you’re a teacher and you passed the board exams, you’re supposed to study yourself.” (RTF)