Australia, Philippines launch a new partnership to improve quality of teaching
15 February 2012
Australia remains committed to raising the quality of education in the Philippines by investing in the leadership and professionalism of Filipino teachers.
The Philippine Normal University’s (PNU), National Center for Teacher Education formally opens its Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ) today in the university’s campus in Taft Avenue, Manila.
The Center has been established through a partnership between PNU and Australia’s University of New England, with the funding support of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
“The Research Centre for Teacher Quality is supported by the Australian Government as part of its broader assistance to the Philippines’ education sector. Australia believes that investing in quality education will provide better opportunities for all. It is a pathway out of poverty for the most disadvantaged,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.
AusAID has committed Php235 million (A$5.6 million) for the research center’s initial three years of operation. The Centre is envisioned to be the hub for research activities and policy recommendations on improving the quality of teaching in the country, particularly linking to the Philippine Government’s Kindergarten to Year 12 (K to 12) Program.
“Australia shares the Philippine Government’s vision that K to 12, if implemented well, will bring the Philippines’ school system closer to international standards. The success of K to 12 is hinged on many factors, including ensuring that teachers are well equipped, well-trained and fully supported to deliver the new curriculum,” Ambassador Tweddell added. “We all believe that teachers are at the heart of the reform. We cannot enable our learners if we do not enable our teachers – and through this Research Centre, Australia will assist the Philippines to do this further.”
Dr. Ester B. Ogena, PNU President, said that “investments for RCTQ will have a big impact on teacher quality. Up-to-date information will allow for a bigger and in-depth view in analyzing issues on teacher education. This is very crucial as government implements the K to 12 reform.”
The Centre will undertake high-quality research focused on teacher quality, to better inform policies on building teachers’ capabilities at various stages of their careers, from studying how to become teachers, or pre-service education, and throughout their professional life as teachers, through in-service training and development.
The Centre’s opening was attended by: Armin Luistro, FSC, Secretary of the Department of Education; Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson, Commission on Higher Education; Ambassador Tweddell; Dr Ogena; Steve Tobias, Dean of the College of Education, University of New England; John Pegg, Director, Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural an d Regional Australia (SiMERR) National Research Centre Foundation; AusAID Minister Counsellor Octavia Borthwick; AusAID Counsellor Elaine Ward; and stakeholders from the academe, government agencies, institutions, and civil society organizations.