By Filane Mikee Cervantes

(PNA file photo courtesy of Dr. Adolf Aguilar/DepEd Bais City)

MANILA – A lawmaker has proposed a PHP1.5-billion budget for the in-service skills retooling of public school teachers to reinforce their competencies to deliver lessons in English, Mathematics, and Science.

In a statement on Sunday, Quezon City (4th District) Rep. Marvin Rillo said Congress has been allocating an average of PHP746 million per year in the national budget for the in-service training of teachers, but stressed that the allocation should be doubled at PHP1.5 billion every year starting in 2024.

“Our teachers deserve more support in terms of continuing professional development courses and other interventions so that they can improve their abilities to teach English, Math, and Science more effectively,” Rillo said.

The legislator noted that the Department of Education (DepEd) partners with public and private institutions, such as the University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University, and the Development Academy of the Philippines, to implement in-service training programs to upgrade the expertise of teachers.

“If necessary, the DepEd should also enlist the help of educators from the best private K-12 schools to help in the training courses,” he said.

The Committee on Basic Education and Culture earlier endorsed the approval of House Bill No. 238, which proposes the creation of a Teacher Education and Training Committee (TETC) to further improve the hiring and training process of teachers.

The TETC shall be solely responsible for setting minimum criteria in expertise instruction, and other relevant matters for hiring new teachers, and evaluating new and current teachers.

The measure also proposes the implementation of a “ladderized approach” in the Kinder to Grade 12 (K to 12) curriculum to improve the education of students and the proficiency of teachers by amending Sections 5 and 7 of Republic Act (RA) 10533 or The Basic Education Act of 2013.

The bill’s proponent, Caloocan City (2nd District) Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy, said the ladderized approach would ensure mastery of knowledge and skills after each level instead of using the spiral progression approach being implemented under RA 10533.

The ladderized approach harmonizes all education and training mechanisms, which allows students to progress between technical-vocational and higher education programs or vice versa as defined in RA 10647 or the Ladderized Education Act of 2014.

During the Basic Education Report 2023 in January, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte vowed to revise the K to 12 curriculum “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 said consulting experts, adapting to local and international best practices and formulating decisions based on evidence will equip children with appropriate skills, instead of mere familiarity. (PNA)