By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a staunch advocate for quality education and a member of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing Republic Act No. 11713, otherwise known as the Excellence in Teacher Education Act of 2022, on Wednesday, April 27.
“Teachers play a critical role in ensuring the continued delivery of learning and ensuring a brighter future for our children, as the country continues its battles against COVID-19. That is why I want to commend President Duterte for prioritizing the welfare of our educators,” Go underscored.
“Alam kong napakahirap ng buhay ngayon kaya dapat patuloy natin ibigay ang nararapat na suporta sa ating mga guro, lalung-lalo na at nasa gitna pa tayo ng krisis. Kung gusto natin umunlad ang educational sector, bigyan natin ng karampatang suporta at importansya ang mga guro,” he added.
The law seeks to nurture the country’s educators to ensure that they are equipped and ready to create a more conducive and effective learning environment for their students. The Act shall significantly improve the educational sector by revamping the Teacher Education Council (TEC) and developing necessary scholarship programs for aspiring teachers.
It also mandates the establishment of Teacher Education Centers of Excellence (Teacher Education-COEs) in strategic places in all regions of the country, following a set of standard criteria.
The objectives and functions of Teacher Education-COEs are to conduct innovative and relevant pre-service and in-service teacher education and training programs, including alternative delivery programs, that would develop and produce teachers who will foster and promote quality education.
The Act also institutionalizes the National Educators Academy of the Philippines to provide quality and development programs on teacher education to in-service teachers, school leaders, and other related personnel in primary education.
“Habang ang mga kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating kinabukasan, napaka importante po talaga na pangalagaan natin ang ating mga guro dahil sila po ang pangunahing maghuhulma sa ating mga kabataan,” stressed Go.
“Huwag natin pababayaan ang ating mga guro. Nais ko rin magpasalamat sa aking kasamahan sa Senado, kay Senator Win Gatchalian dahil talaga naman maraming matutulungan ang kaniyang ipinanukalang batas,” he expressed.
Meanwhile, Go is one of the co-authors of Republic Act No. 11510 or the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Act of 2021 which improves the delivery of basic education to the underrepresented and disadvantaged students.
The ALS Law provides students with specialized programs and alternative education approaches not available under the formal learning system.
The senator also co-authored RA 11650 which institutes services and programs for learners with disabilities in support of inclusive education. The Act aims to enhance the quality of education in the formal learning sector by providing free support services as well as programs that are tailored to the needs of differently-abled learners.
It likewise mandates the implementation of a Child Find System, a scheme for locating and evaluating learners with disabilities who have not received basic education services and facilitating their inclusion into the general education system.
The lawmaker also filed Senate Bill No. 396 in 2019 which seeks to expand the application of the Special Education Fund for payment of salaries and allowances of teaching and non-teaching personnel, among other purposes. (ai/mtvn)