January 11, 2012
IMPROVE TEACHER TRAINING TO ENSURE SUCCESS OF K+12 - ANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to improve its programs aimed at enhancing the teaching and professional competencies of teachers to ensure the successful implementation of the K+12 basic education curriculum (BEC) plan.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts, made the statement following DepEd's announcement that it was ready to implement the new curriculum given a budgetary increase from P207 billion in 2011 to P238.8 billion in 2012.
"The increased budgetary allocation should serve as a vote of confidence cast by Congress in support of the DepEd. But this also means the department must follow through on its pronouncements that it is prepared to deploy the K-to-12 curriculum," said Angara.
According to reports, the DepEd plans to build more classrooms and hire additional teachers, among other critical needs that will make students learn more. It also aims to address current shortages and requirements within the next two years so that it can direct significant resources toward the full implementation of K+12 in 2016.
"The DepEd surely has to act decisively on the chronic shortages it faces in terms of classrooms, seats, books, and even hygiene facilities. Yet, it must also focus on scaling up its teacher training programs to meet the imminent demands of the proposed curriculum," stressed Angara. "Not only will we need more qualified teachers, we will need to make sure our current teachers continue to improve as well."
The former UP president noted that around P100 million in the 2012 budget of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has been allocated for scholarships in teacher development, especially for educators in Normal schools.
"These scholarships should serve as a catalyst, but in no way should they be the only course of action we will take in pushing our teachers closer to world-class standards," stressed the veteran lawmaker.
He continued, "We ought to find novel ways for widening the scope of our teacher training programs, such as through high-speed ICT connectivity and social media where teachers in far-flung areas can collaborate with their counterparts in major cities or even with other educators in the world's top institutions. This is something we should not lose track of, while we undertake a comprehensive revamp of our educational system."
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