P1 billion set to retool teachers in English, Math & Science

by Kobakila News

MANILA (Sept. 14) — To build up the public school system, a total of P1 billion in fresh funding has been set aside to polish the abilities of teachers in the core competencies of English, Science and Math, Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza disclosed Sunday.

The amount, included in the proposed P1.541-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2010, would be spent for the “in-service retraining” of 276,534 teachers who are non-majors in English, Science and Math, according to Taliño-Mendoza.

She said the teachers “without the required specialization” would undergo three weeks of intensive university-based workshops.

The new money would also cover the upgrading of the skills of 121,317 school supervisors, Taliño-Mendoza said.

Owing to the lack of fully qualified instructors in English, Science and Math, the Department of Education (Deped) has a mobilized a growing number of non-majors to lecture on the subjects in elementary and secondary schools.

As a result, an increasing number of students are also getting inadequate instruction in the core disciplines.

According to the Deped, only 19 out of every 100 lecturers have the confidence and competence to teach English — the language of instruction in Science and Math.

In high schools, non-majors comprise up to 20 percent of Math teachers, and anywhere from 56 percent to 73 percent of General Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics instructors.

Taliño-Mendoza said the P1 billion would likewise cover the preparation of “mobile teachers” for the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

The ALS is an informal learning system meant for out-of-school youth as well as adults who are basically literate but have never completed formal elementary or secondary schooling.

The system targets grade and high school dropouts, household staff and drivers, unskilled and semi-skilled factory workers, persons with disabilities, and jailbirds, among others.

Those who enlist in the system’s programs and pass special tests are entitled to certification of learning achievements equal to elementary or secondary schooling.

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