Half of PH schools for teachers perform poorly in licensure exams

MANILA, Philippines – Around half of the teacher education institutions (TEIs), or schools which offer education courses for aspiring teachers in the country, have been performing poorly in the licensure examinations from 2009 to 2017.

In the past 9 years, takers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) registered only a “dismal” 31% passing rate, according to a recent study by non-governmental organization Philippine Business for Education (PBEd). 

The study showed that 497 out of 1,024 TEIs who had graduates take the elementary examination under LET performed below the national passing rate. The same goes for 637 out of 1,258 TEIs for the secondary examination.

The data for the PBEd’s study came from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). 

“Many of our TEIs (education schools) are of low quality because less than half actually are above or are performing above national average and more than half are performing below national average. And that's already setting the bar very low because the national average is not that high,” said PBEd executive director Love Basillote.

PBEd also noted that most of the poorly performing TEis are from Mindanao.

Elementary examination under LET

Secondary examination under LET

Meanwhile, a majority of the top performing TEIs in the LET are based in Metro Manila.

Elementary examination under LET

Secondary examination under LET

The PBEd has been observing the weak performance of schools for teachers in the LET in previous years. 

In 2015, PBEd and 20 schools and associations even urged the PRC’s Board of Professional Teachers to officially release previous LET questions to ensure transparency and the quality of the examination. 

The Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act prohibits any person from teaching in the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels without being a duly registered professional teacher, a valid certificate of registration, and a valid professional license or a special/temporary permit. 

Improving teacher education

With its latest findings, PBEd is recommending the Board of Professional Teachers to impose a 3-strike rule for LET takers. 

“And so what we’re saying is, for us to improve teacher quality, we need improved TEIs. And the way we want to do it is first, just maybe institutionalize a 3-strike rule, kind of like the Bar exam. If after taking the test 3 times and you still fail, then maybe some rule should be imposed before you can re-take again,” said Basillote. 

PBEd is also recommending the closure of programs of the poorly performing TEIs (education schools).  

They are once again urging PRC to release previous LET questions as well. PBEd research manager Dylan Dellosa said doing so would force the Board of Professional Teachers to improve the LET’s quality every year. 

“An additional benefit of having the test questions released is that it compels the Board to keep the test bank fresh, meaning quality, no recycling, but most importantly, relevant to what the current needs are, what the current standards are,” he said. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.