Entrance exams needed in schools for teacher education – World Bank expert

POOR PERFORMANCE. Takers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers have been performing badly in the last 10 years. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Teacher education institutions (TEIs) should consider administering entrance exams for prospective students as a move towards improving the quality of teachers in the Philippines.

World Bank senior education specialist Javier Luque aired this recommendation in a forum on teacher quality on Wednesday, October 3.

In a forum, hosted by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), Luque was asked what efforts may be done to improve the over 1,200 TEIs in the Philippines. According to PBEd, many TEIs observed an open-admissions policy, which saw over 500,000 students enrolled every year.

“We should create filters. One could be…an entrance exam for all teaching institutions regardless of whether or not they are private, public,” Luque said.

The World Bank official also said TEIs should consider having “exit exams” or an exam required to successfully graduate from an education program. He suggested criteria for this be based on standards set by the education department.

During the forum, PBEd chair Ramon del Rosario Jr said the way TEIs trained teachers “left much to be desired.” (READ: Know the best schools for teachers in PH)

Citing data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Del Rosario said few graduates of TEIs passed the licensing exam for teachers, as average passing rate of the last 10 years was about 31%.

Data from PBEd and the Professional Regulation Commission also showed that during the March 2018 test, 72% of all test takers were retakers. PBEd earlier recommended the Board of Professional Teachers to impose a 3-strike rule for LET takers. (READ: Half of PH schools for teachers perform poorly in licensure exams)

Luque emphasized that ensuring teacher quality should remain a priority of the government. “Education quality is one of the main predictors of long-term economic growth…. Great teachers are fundamental to achieving and maintaining high-quality education systems,” he said.

He added, “Policies must focus on the principle that good teachers are made, not born.”

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