Sara Duterte urged to ‘focus on teacher education’

·Contributor
·2 min read
Sara Duterte, eldest daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is pictured at her office in Davao city in southern Philippines, August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr
Sara Duterte, eldest daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is pictured at her office in Davao city in southern Philippines, August 4, 2017. Picture taken August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr

In order to improve the quality of education in the country, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, who is poised to head the Department of Education (DepEd), was encouraged to focus on the improvement and quality of teaching education in the country.

Second-term Senator Win Gatchalian, who will also retain his chairpersonship of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture in the incoming 19th Congress, in a statement said that the VP-elect, who garnered more than 60% of the votes in the 2022 elections, was given not just a mandate but a large political capital to make changes in the education department.

“We are in a very unique position because no less than the second highest official of our land will now lead the Department of Education, carrying with her 60% of the votes of the Filipino people,” said Gatchalian in a statement.

Excellence of Teacher Education Act

Signed on April 27, the RA 11713, or the Excellence of Teacher Education Act, seeks to strengthen the quality of teacher education in the country from pre-service to in-service by revamping the Teacher Education Council (TEC).

The TEC, established in 1994 through RA 7784, was designed to strengthen teaching education in the country through designing collaborative programs or projects that will enhance pre- and in-service teacher training, retraining, orientation, and teacher development.

Though the council’s ex-officio chair is the Secretary of DepEd, its mandate is limited in taking part in teachers’ in-service education and training through the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), the council’s professional development arm tasked to upskill and reskill teachers.

Under the new law, the DepEd Secretary will be the chairperson of the TEC, with the Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as the Vice-Chairperson.

“We gave a lot of powers to DepEd to make sure that teacher education is seamless from pre-service all the way to in-service,” Gatchalian said.

The new law also has also given the TEC the mandate to set minimum requirements and guidelines with regards to teacher education programs.

Kung maganda ang mismong pundasyon ng mga guro, inaasahang dekalidad din ang ibibigay nilang klase ng pagtuturo sa mga estudyante nila,” Gatchalian said.

(If the teacher has good foundations, then we can expect that they will deliver quality education to their students.)

Given all these, Sen. Gatchalian is optimistic that the new VP-elect will be able to deliver for the education sector.

“In reforms we need political capital. We also need political will. But the political capital is something we need to exploit in order to launch a lot of the reforms specified in the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030,” Gatchalian added.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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