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Teachers are the only professionals who create other professionals. They play a vital and crucial role towards nation-building. The Philippines can only developed holistic learners, equipped with the 21st century skills, by having quality teachers. Improving the nation’s educational standards to produce globally competitive graduates will not happen without raising the teacher quality standards. The latter is the primary goal for having different initiatives in developing a framework of standards for teachers.
The Philippine government has consistently pursued teacher quality reforms through a number of initiatives and one of these is the National Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (DO 42, s. 2017). It is the product of improvements and rethinking of the National Competency-Based Teacher Standards (NCBTS) to be aligned with the various national and global frameworks and changing character of the 21st century learners.
The PPST is a new framework that aligns the curriculum for teacher training to the K-12 program. It will help prepare effective teachers, and support the enhancement of teacher practice across four Career Stages in terms of nationally and internationally recognized teacher quality. This reform will bring DepEd, CHED and Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) even closer together and provide mechanisms to TEIs to produce teachers to meet the demands of the K-12 curriculum.
The PPST defines teacher quality in the Philippines. The 7 domains collectively comprise 37 strands that refer to more specific dimensions of teacher practices. It also describes the expectations of teachers’ increasing knowledge, practice and professional engagement across four career stages (beginning, proficient, highly proficient and distinguished teachers). As a beginning teacher, I believe that over time, the PPST will become the measuring tool for teacher professional learning, career development, appointment, retention, promotion and rewards. The new framework of standards explicitly recognizes the critical place of subject knowledge and how it is taught. However, it goes much further, stressing the importance of proficiency in mother tongue, Filipino and English for teaching and learning. The standards also celebrate diversity in the classroom and encourage the establishment of learning environments that are responsive to learner diversity and foster respect of the learners’ diverse experiences.
The PPST also acknowledges that our teachers are highly motivated, have a strong work ethic, and are eager to do better, despite being overwhelmed with tedious and complicated approaches to many aspects of their professional life.
Clearly, the adoption and implementation of PPST is a great milestone in teacher quality standardization of this nation. If smoothly implemented, it will give way in achieving the goals of the newly implemented K-12 curriculum.
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