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

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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. While 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 effectively prepare pre-service teachers for the profession. 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% age point disadvantage in the LET; relative to large institutions.