Angara backs training of 10,000 science, math teachers

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2013 02:54 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2013 10:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate education committee is ready to endorse measures that seek to train at least 10,000 new science and math teachers in the next 7 years by increasing the budget for scholarships, with additional funds coming from the games and amusement sector.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, the committee's chairman, said after a hearing on Tuesday that he will sponsor the bills on the floor when session resumes this month.

Angara said the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office have each committeed to donate P100 million every year to fund more scholarships for science and technology students, who will be required to teach after graduation, once the measures are passed into law.

Senate Bill 3279 aims to strengthen the teaching of science and math in secondary schools by providing scholarships for potential teachers, while Senate Bill 3074 seeks to expand the coverage of science and technology scholarships.

Angara noted the Philippines' low ranking in global competetiveness surveys.

"That springs from the fact that we have weak math and science teaching," he told reporters. "We're so far behind."

Once the measures are enacted into law, scholars will study in the country's top universities and centers of excellence in science and math.

Upon graduation, they will be required to  teach mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and other related  subjecys for a minimum of two years in public or private high schools.

Angara said the K+12 program, which adds more years to basic education, requires more teachers.

He hopes the measures would be passed before the end of the 15th Congress.