CHED eyes possible closure of weak schools for teachers
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will review the performance of schools for teachers in the country to determine which among them "deserve to be closed."
CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan said the review was prompted by a recent study showing the “dismal” performance in the 2009 to 2017 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) of graduates from teacher education institutions (TEIs), or schools which offer education courses for aspiring teachers.
“I think certainly many of them might deserve to be closed. That's our next step because I noticed that mainly they’re from Mindanao and some do not even have CHED recognition. So we will have to look into that. It's really a disservice to students,” Licuanan told Rappler on Wednesday, October 4.
The Philippine Business for Education conducted a study that showed TEI graduates only registered a 31% passing rate in the LET from 2009 to 2017. Most of the poorly performing TEIs are from Mindanao, while the top schools for teachers are mostly in Metro Manila.
Licuanan said CHED will also check which among the weak TEIs can still be improved.
“We should identify what schools can be improved and what schools should be closed. And those that can be improved, we will help them...through scholarships, help them through some kind of grants that will help their facilities and their resources,” said Licuanan.
She had met with CHED’s technical panel for teacher education on Tuesday, October 3, to get updates on revisions on the teacher education curriculum and to determine how to address PBEd’s findings.
Factors for poor LET performance
The PBEd has been observing the weak performance of schools for teachers in the LET in previous years. Licuanan said CHED had made the same observations.
The CHED chairperson said this is due to a combination of several factors, including the need to upgrade the curriculum and the schools' admission standards.
With teacher education as one of the top courses for college students, Licuanan admits monitoring all teacher education programs can be difficult.
“So if there are a lot of students, if there are a lot of institutions, the quality control probably suffers. I think that one thing that has to be done is that the higher education institutions offering teachers' ed have to be scrutinized more carefully,” said Licuanan.
Of the 27 TEIs that had the worst LET performance in the past years, PBEd found out that 5 are not even recognized by CHED: the Southern Negros College, La Consolacion College-Daet, Camarines Norte State College-Labo, Unda Memorial Agricultural School, and Agro-Industrial Foundation College.
Licuanan lamented that some TEIs may not be strict in their admission policy as well, giving room for less qualified students to get into teacher education.
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.
For Licuanan, education experts should at least be given access to old LET questions.
"The main idea is to improve the test. And part of that really is – I don't know if it should really be made public – but certainly it should be available to experts to study it,” she said. – Rappler.com