MANILA, Philippines – When more than half of teacher education institutions (TEIs) in the country are not performing well in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), there must be something wrong.
Some of the best schools for teachers in the Philippines think the reform should start with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), whose mandate is to regulate and supervise the practice of teachers and other Filipino professionals.
In a manifesto released Monday, February 9, the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and 20 schools and associations urged the PRC’s Board of Professional Teachers to release previous LET questions.
This is to ensure the exam’s quality and transparency, which is part of PRC’s mandate, said Joseph Noel Estrada, PBEd’s legal counsel.
“That’s their function, to come up with rules and regulations to improve the quality of the exam. Transparency and all, that is all in the law,” he told Rappler on Monday.
They are also calling on PRC to implement a 3-strike rule that will require LET takers to take a refresher course if they fail 3 times. Estrada said if other professions can implement this, then it can also be done in the teaching profession.
“It’s already in the law. Specifically, it says the PRC may authorize the completion of a refresher course….You also link it up to other responsibilities of the PRC, [like] ensuring the integrity of the examination,” he said, noting that other aspiring teachers take the LET more than 10 times.
‘Take the profession seriously’
PBEd also released on Monday a study which lists the best and worst performing TEIs in the 2014 LET – a mix of private and government TEIs.
The study jumps off from a 5-year study released in 2014 which analyzed the LET passing rates of the TEIs from 2009 to 2013. PBEd said the results of the earlier study suggest 3 things:
- High school students are ill-prepared when they enter teacher education programs
- Teacher education students receive inadequate pre-service preparation in TEIs
- A possible disconnect on the LET questions and what is taught by TEIs
The said study was already presented to the PRC and the Commission on Higher Education, but PBEd president Chito Salazar lamented that no action has been done since then. (READ: Most schools for teachers perform badly in licensure exams)
“Government is not policing itself. How can government produce a bad school? That’s our taxpayers’ money. Government should do something about making sure that government schools are at least the best schools,” he said.
Majority or 10 of the schools that signed the manifesto are among the best schools for teachers in the country according to the recent PBEd study. Below is the complete list of the schools and associations that signed the manifesto:
- Ateneo de Davao University (Dr Gina Montalan)
- Ateneo de Naga University (Dr Arnulfo Aaron Reganit)
- Association of Local Colleges and Universities (Prof Tomas Lopez)
- Bohol Island State University (Dr Ma. Elene Mandin)
- Bicol University (Epifania Nuñez)
- Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (Br Narciso Erguiza)
- Centro Escolar University (Dr Teresita Carey)
- De La Salle University (Dr John Addy Garcia)
- Mariano Marcos State University (Dr Eliza Samson)
- Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (Dr Karen de Leon)
- Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Dr Jose Paulo Campos)
- Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (Dr Ricardo Rotoras)
- Philippine Normal University (Dr Ester Ogena)
- St Louis University (Dr Felina Espique)
- Silliman University (Dr Earl Jude Paul Cleope)
- University of the Philippines (Dr Rosario Alonzo)
- University of Southeastern Philippines-Tagum (Prof Genna Carmelo)
- University of Saint La Salle (Dr Cherry Anne Biacao)
- University of Santo Tomas (Dr Clotilde Arcangel)
- West Visayas State University (Dr Hilda Montaño)
What’s the secret of the best performing schools? Salazar said it’s the schools’ focus on quality. (READ: Know the best schools for teachers in PH)
“I think a lot of it involves really taking the profession seriously. Take it seriously, and so we have [to] really raise the standards, keep them up high, make sure the teachers of the teachers are good teachers, make sure they are paid well,” he said.
The last recommendation in the manifesto is for PRC to revise the LET application form, allowing applicants to specify the school that granted their bachelor’s degree in education or certificate in teaching.
You can read the rest of manifesto here. – Rappler.com
Multiple choice exam image via ShutterStock