‘Pushing for better teachers’ (from left to right): PBEd Chairman Mr. Ramon del Rosario, Jr., Australian Ambassador H.E. Amanda Gorely and World Bank Senior Education Specialist Mr. Javier Luque. Photos by PBEd

Teacher quality took centerstage at the Australia-supported 2018 Teacher Quality Forum on 3 October 2018 in Makati City as some 80 leaders from the government, industry, and the academe converged and discussed issues affecting the quality of teachers in the Philippines vis-à-vis the global trends and innovations in teacher development.

The forum, led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and supported by the Australian government through the BEST Program, was designed as a vehicle to appraise the state of teacher development in the Philippines, draw inspiration from working models across the world, and firm up the coalition around teacher quality.

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely shares that from her experience in Australia and across the world, the single most effective way to improve education outcomes is to invest in teachers.

In her message, Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely shared that from her experience in Australia and across the world, the single most effective way to improve education outcomes is to invest in teachers.

“Good teachers not only lift academic performance but also help instill the confidence and resilience that are so critical to student’s future employment prospects,” Ambassador Gorely said.

Gorely added: “We need to attract the best and the brightest into teaching and to support teachers with opportunities for quality professional development. This is a key focus of Australia’s education investments in the Philippines including through our partnership with PBEd on Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Upgrade Teacher Quality in the Philippines (STEP UP).”

Since 2015, a total of 954 aspiring teachers have been awarded scholarships in leading teacher education institutions across the country under the STEP UP initiative.

The forum, first in a series of conversations on how to produce classroom-ready teachers for better learning, started with a welcome remarks from PBEd Chair Mr. Ramon del Rosario, Jr., who shared the state of teacher quality in the country which he described as a “system that may be too unwieldy to effectively spot and incentivize good teachers.”

“The way we’ve been training and certifying our teachers leaves much to be desired. Too many poor quality schools of education. Too few graduates passing the licensure exam, with 31% average for the past 10 years. It’s not a surprise therefore that our annual assessment of the state of the Philippine education has shown clear and worrying trends. Learning has stagnated, our human capital undermaximized, national competitiveness compromised, all of which figure into our country’s decline in global rankings,” Mr. del Rosario said.

To further spur thought and conversation on teacher quality, a video on the state of teacher development was presented, and World Bank’s Senior Education Specialist Javier Luque shared findings of his book, “Great Teachers: How to Raise Student Learning in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The forum will be followed by a series of roundtables to identify concrete policy recommendations, particularly in the Bangsamoro.

Related media coverage:

The BEST team with partners from DepEd and the business community.