Weak schools in teachers’ exams warned

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THE Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) on Monday urged the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to bare the schools whose performance in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) had been dismal for the past five years.

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“PRC should release the historical of the schools. They should let the public know that these schools are not doing well,” PBEd president Chito Salazar said. “We want the parents to know the bad and good performing schools.”

The PBEd reiterated its appeal to the government to address this problem as it cited the critical role of teachers in improving the quality of education.

“The government should do something to improve these schools. We want to make sure our teachers are the best,” Salazar said.

Education lawyer Joseph Noel Estrada said the Board of Professional Teachers should release the previous LET questions so that test results would be thoroughly evaluated.

“The PRC is mandated by the law to release the previous test questions and come up with rules and regulations to improve the quality of education,” Estrada said.

Estrada also noted that the PRC has the power to authorize the completion of a refresher course for the examinees who failed to pass the LET for the third time.

The PBEd also urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to shut down teacher education institutions that have consistently performed poorly or schools with test-taker passing rates of less than 10 percent in the LET.

Despite a slight improvement of schools that perform well in the LET exam, more than half of the country’s teacher education institutions still have more than 50 percent of their graduates fail the LET, according to a recent PBEd study. There are at least 1, 200 teacher education institutions in the country.

Sought for comment, CHEd chairperson Patricia Licuanan said the commission “will look into the recommendations of PBEd and see how best we can assist their call for upgrading the quality of teacher education in our higher education institutions.”

As for the closure of low-performing schools, Licuanan said that they have already phased out substandard programs of higher education institutions.

The PBEd said the percentage of first time takers and repeaters who passed in 2014 is higher than the combined average from 2009 to 2013.

However, the group said an alarming number of teacher education institutions in the country still perform poorly in the LET; 537 schools offering elementary and 774 schools offering secondary teacher education are below the average national test-taker passing rate of 2014.

The top performing teacher education institutions are the Philippine Normal University (Manila campus), University of Santo Tomas, Saint Louis University, Xavier University, University of Saint La Salle, Ateneo de Naga University, University of Southeastern Philippines (Tagum campus), De La Salle University (Manila campus), Siliman University and Saint Bridget’s College.

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