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Deploy good teachers to disadvantaged schools – Roque

UniTeam senatorial aspirant Harry Roque wants to populate underprivileged school districts and communities with outstanding teachers who can evolve into future leaders in public education and reform.

Roque, a former member of the House of Representatives, said he would like to deploy highly-accomplished college graduates to educate disadvantaged students through his proposed ‘Teach for the Philippines Act.’

If elected senator in May, Roque would sponsor and update his House Bill 3018, which seeks to recruit, train, and support competent teachers for underserved communities through collaboration with non-government organizations (NGOs).

“In keeping with the Constitutional mandate to make quality education accessible to all Filipinos, the State should provide students in rural and urban communities with a nationally recruited corps of educators,” Roque said.

Under the proposed measure, the education department will award grants to deserving NGOs to create a regional and national teacher corps. These teachers are obliged to serve in underprivileged communities for two years.

The former presidential spokesman said that “establishing a corps of experienced educators will lead to a broader pipeline of future leaders who can carry out sector reforms.”

Roque also said that the chosen NGOs or grantees are bound to recruit teachers through a highly selective national process and train them rigorously on hands-on teaching, education coursework, and theory.

The grantees will be in charge of the school placement of selected teachers. They are expected to provide teachers with ongoing professional development training and support.

Based on 2021 data from the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), a non-profit organization, the education department’s teaching personnel total 847,465.

In terms of the student-teacher ratio, there are 29 elementary pupils for every teacher and 39 junior high students per teacher. For senior high school, the average classroom-learner ratio is 31.

According to the Department of Education, the 2021 basic education enrollment reached 27.2 million, a 3.8 percent increase from the previous year.

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