Half of PH schools for teachers perform poorly in licensure exams

Mara Cepeda
A Philippine Business for Education study on the Licensure Examination for Teachers from 2009 to 2017 shows most of the weak schools for teachers are in Mindanao

POOR PERFORMANCE. Takers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers have been performing badly in the last 9 years. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Around half of the teacher education institutions (TEIs), or schools which offer education courses for aspiring teachers in the country, have been performing poorly in the licensure examinations from 2009 to 2017.

In the past 9 years, takers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) registered only a “dismal” 31% passing rate, according to a recent study by non-governmental organization Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). 

The study showed that 497 out of 1,024 TEIs who had graduates take the elementary examination under LET performed below the national passing rate. The same goes for 637 out of 1,258 TEIs for the secondary examination.

The data for the PBEd’s study came from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). 

“Many of our TEIs (education schools) are of low quality because less than half actually are above or are performing above national average and more than half are performing below national average. And that’s already setting the bar very low because the national average is not that high,” said PBEd executive director Love Basillote.

PBEd also noted that most of the poorly performing TEis are from Mindanao.

Elementary examination under LET

School Number of times school registered a passing rate below 20% Number of times school registeredd 0% passing rate Passing rate
Marawi Capitol Foundation College      16 7 2.88%
Marawi Islamic College 16 4 9.63%
Mindanao Islamic Computer College 16 2 7.54%
Pacasum College 16 3 7.04%
Gani L. Abpi Colleges, Inc                                   15 9 6.99%
Lapak Agricultural College-Siasi 
*Program discontinued
15 7 5.49%
South UPI College 10 7 5.66%
Southern Negros College 6 0
La Consolacion College-Daet 5 5 0
Camarines Norte State College-Labo 4 4 0

Secondary examination under LET

School Number of times school registered a passing rate below 20% Number of times school registeredd 0% passing rate Passing rate
Hadji Buti School of Arts and Trades 16 16 0
Lanao National College of Arta and Trades 16 13 1.27%
Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College 16 12 1.99%
Lapak Agricultural College-Siasi
*Program discontinued
14 14 0
Jamiatu Muslim Mindanao 14 8 7.41%
Shariff Kabunsuan College 13 13 0
Libacao College of Science and Technology
*Program discontinued
12 11 3.45%
Datu Mala M Mindanao Islamic College 11 11 0
Southwestern Mindanao Islamic Institute 10 10 0
Unda Memorial Agricultural School 9 9 0
East Pacific Computer College 9 7 6.45%
Cali Paramedical College Foundation 8 8 0
Shepherd’s College 8 8 0
Romblon State College-Sta. Maria 8 7 5.88%
Agro-industrial Foundation College
*Program discontinued
7 6 6.67%
La Consolacion College-Biñan
*Program discontinued
4 4 0
Southway College of Technology 4 4 0

Meanwhile, a majority of the top performing TEIs in the LET are based in Metro Manila.

Elementary examination under LET

School Number of passers Passing rate
Philippine Normal University-Manila 1,666 94.82%
University of Santo Tomas 906 98.05%
Xavier University 730 90.23%

University of the Philippines-Diliman

435 99.54%
Bohol Island State University-Tagbilaran 421 90.93%
De La Salle University-Manila 293 98.65%

Secondary examination under LET

School Number of passers Passing rate
Philippine Normal University-Manila 5,788 93.05%
University of Santo Tomas 1,569 91.75%

University of the Philippines-Diliman

1,100 96.24%
University of the Philippines-Los Baños 573 99.31%
De La Salle University-Manila 394 98.75%

The PBEd has been observing the weak performance of schools for teachers in the LET in previous years. 

In 2015, PBEd and 20 schools and associations even urged the PRC’s Board of Professional Teachers to officially release previous LET questions to ensure transparency and the quality of the examination. 

The Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act prohibits any person from teaching in the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels without being a duly registered professional teacher, a valid certificate of registration, and a valid professional license or a special/temporary permit. 

Improving teacher education

With its latest findings, PBEd is recommending the Board of Professional Teachers to impose a 3-strike rule for LET takers. 

“And so what we’re saying is, for us to improve teacher quality, we need improved TEIs. And the way we want to do it is first, just maybe institutionalize a 3-strike rule, kind of like the Bar exam. If after taking the test 3 times and you still fail, then maybe some rule should be imposed before you can re-take again,” said Basillote. 

PBEd is also recommending the closure of programs of the poorly performing TEIs (education schools).  

They are once again urging PRC to release previous LET questions as well. PBEd research manager Dylan Dellosa said doing so would force the Board of Professional Teachers to improve the LET’s quality every year. 

“An additional benefit of having the test questions released is that it compels the Board to keep the test bank fresh, meaning quality, no recycling, but most importantly, relevant to what the current needs are, what the current standards are,” he said. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.