Non-profit group proposes ways to improve PH educational system

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2022 09:14 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2022 01:50 PM

MANILA — Non-stock, non-profit organization Teach For the Philippines (TFP) said that there are ways to improve the country's educational situation, according to their recent study.

Titled “Organizational Innovations to Improve Teaching, Education Systems, and Inter-Agency Networks," the study was based on the responses of 191 TFP teachers who revealed their experiences as they taught in “high-need public schools” for 2 years under the group’s fellowship program.

Jose Eos Trinidad, principal investigator of the study, said they observed three things.

“The first is how critical on-the-ground experience is both to understand the education system as well as to create skills or to develop skills of the teachers. Next would be how continuous and intentional training, coaching and support were necessary to bring these about. Finally, all of these efforts are done in order to create strategic networks of education advocates both within the education system and outside of it,” he said.

Trinidad said “experience on the ground” has led their teachers to “gain new personal and professional skills”, particularly in community engagement, relationship building, and even project management.

“Ninety-four percent of alumni said that the fellowship encouraged them to continue their commitment to education reform,” he said.

But grounded experience is not enough; it has to be “supplemented by holistic training and continuous coaching," he said.

“We need to think about how it’s not just what’s happening in the classrooms but what’s happening in larger communities. Moreover, it’s not just what you get trained on, it’s also what happens after you experience things. So having quarterly check-ins, having mentoring sessions, being key factors that help teachers make sense of what’s happening to them and also improve because of it,” Trinidad said.

“All these things only make sense when you do work with each other, to create networks and strategic networks of education advocates,” he added.

“There is promise in developing future education leaders with the right knowledge skills and mindset, so it's not just stopping leaders and finding promising young people to drive change in crisis times, but more proactively developing a core group of leaders who are invested in education overtime and making sure to direct resources towards this effort,” TFP Chief Operations Officer Mavie Ungco said.

The study received a positive response from an official of the education department.

“I'm happy that you've started with it. there is also a huge challenge on the asymmetry of information not everybody's aware of what information goes around and how would this impact the lives of our learners,” DepEd Assistant Secretary Chris Arnuco said as a reactor to the study.

“While we are happy that we're new to the department we would like to change the culture of a flat organization where everybody could speak freely and of course have an exchange of ideas on how best to address the needs of our learners the schools and others,” Arnuco said.

The TFP said they have started "working on this research" but it is still "under finalization."