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Teacher Education in the Philippines: Are We Meeting the Demand for Quality?

The Philippines' dismal performance in recent international assessments (e.g., PISA in 2018; TIMSS and SEA-PLM in 2019) evince that a learning crisis persists and remains a formidable challenge for the country. This is despite the many educational reforms undertaken in recent years, such as resolving the decades-long backlog in school infrastructure, expanding access to early childhood education, upgrading teacher salaries, and enhancing the basic education curriculum. Although there is a myriad of factors that contribute to poor learner outcomes, there is a consensus in literature regarding the central role played by the teacher in these dynamics. This has motivated the researchers' study of teacher education programs in higher education institutions (HEIs), particularly in their capacity to prepare pre-service teachers for the profession effectively. To fully understand this phenomenon, the researchers explored the profile of teacher education programs in the country in the past decade, and used multiple regression analysis to examine the relationship between performance in the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) and the characteristics of the HEI-attended (e.g., student-to-faculty ratio, HEI type, location, size, year established). It was found that between 2010 to 2016, an outsized proportion of poor quality were in Mindanao, particularly in BARMM and Region 12. Not coincidentally, these are the same regions where not a single institution has been able to hurdle CHED requirements to become a Center of Excellence (COE) in Teacher Education. Further analysis shows that attending programs in small HEIs is associated with a 14 to 17 percentage point disadvantage in the LET, relative to large institutions. Meanwhile, SUCs are seen to perform better in LET Elementary, whereas private HEIs and LUCs perform slightly better in LET Secondary. The proponents of this study put forward policy recommendations aimed at curbing the prevalence of non-performing HEIs, providing incentives for quality among TEIs, and strengthening oversight and coordination of the space.


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