Investing in teachers
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
A recent study by the Philippine Normal University's Educational Policy Research and Development Center urged the government to raise its investment in teacher education to increase the number of passers in the annual licensure examination for teachers (LET) and improve the teaching quality under the K-12 basic education system.
The study found that despite pouring P4.386 billion into teacher preparation from 2008 to 2012, the government still saw a high failure rate in the LET. The passing rate during the period covered by the study was a dismal 64.8 percent.
“The government invested P59,366 per graduate over four years. Yet, this was grossly inadequate,” the study that covered 73,882 teacher education graduates in 56 state universities and colleges, said.
The study indicated that the lower the education cost or government support, the greater the tendency to have the higher percentage of failure in the LET. Conversely, the six regions in the top 8 best LET performers received the highest government funding.
The Philippines' spending on education is the second lowest in Asia at 2.8 percent of gross domestic product.
According to the researchers, “Raising investments in teacher training should result in higher hiring and retention of quality teachers particularly in basic education (K-12), consequently upgrading learning quality among the youth.”
A research paper shouldn't be necessary to underscore the need for more government investment in teacher training in order to improve the quality of basic education. A government that has its priorities in place when it comes to education wouldn't need to be reminded of the need to steadily improve the skills and abilities of the country's teachers who are responsible for the education of the next generation of Filipinos.
With previous administrations having laid the groundwork by focusing on the infrastructure gap by building classrooms, it is time for this government to turn its attention to improving the quality of the country's teachers.*