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Pushing for P1.5 billion allocation to retool public school teachers

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A congressman has proposed allocating PHP1.5 billion for the retraining of public school teachers’ in-service abilities to improve their capacity to teach courses in English, mathematics, and science.

Rep. Marvin Rillo of Quezon City’s 4th District said in a statement on Sunday that Congress has been giving PHP746 million annually on average from the national budget for the in-service training of teachers, but he emphasized that the amount should be quadrupled to PHP1.5 billion starting in 2024.

Rillo stated that in order for our teachers to get better at instructing English, Math, and Science, they need more help in the form of CPD courses and other interventions.

The lawmaker mentioned that in order to implement in-service training programs to improve teachers’ subject matter expertise, the Department of Education (DepEd) collaborates with both public and private institutions, including the University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University, and the Development Academy of the Philippines.

If required, he added, the DepEd should also solicit the aid of instructors from the top private K–12 institutions to assist in the training sessions.

The creation of a Teacher Education and Training Committee (TETC) is proposed by House Bill No. 238 to further enhance the hiring and training of teachers. The Committee on Basic Education and Culture previously supported the approval of this legislation.

Setting basic standards in expertise instruction and other pertinent areas for hiring new teachers and assessing new and experienced teachers shall be the sole responsibility of the TETC.

The motion also suggests changing Sections 5 and 7 of Republic Act (RA) 10533, popularly known as The Basic Education Act of 2013, to establish a “ladderized approach” in the curriculum for children in kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) in order to enhance student learning and teacher competence.

Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy of Caloocan City’s 2nd District, the bill’s sponsor, claimed that the ladderized approach would ensure mastery of information and skills after each level rather than adopting the spiral development approach used under RA 10533.

According to RA 10647, the Ladderized Education Act of 2014, the ladderized method harmonizes all forms of education and training, enabling students to advance from technical-vocational to higher education programs or vice versa.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte promised to update the K–12 curriculum as part of the Basic Education Report 2023 in order to “make them more responsive to our aspiration as a nation, to develop lifelong learners who are imbued with 21st–century skills, discipline, and patriotism.”

She claimed that seeking the advice of experts, implementing regional and global best practices, and making decisions based on solid data will give kids the skills they need rather than just familiarity.

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