"Progressive teaching is key in improving the quality of education in the country. The traditions have to change. Some of our teachers are very bookish and non-critical in their approach--very dogmatic. Teaching should encourage our kids to love learning and develop critical thinking."
Senator Sonny Angara stressed the need to develop new teaching strategies to improve the quality of education in the country.
Angara was invited by the non-profit group Teach for the Philippines (TFP) to guest teach in Dagat-Dagatan Elementary School in Navotas City on Friday.
In celebration of the National Teachers' Month, the TFP asks key leaders from different sectors to guest teach at their partner public schools to inspire students to strive for success given the encouragement they received from the guest teachers.
"I've taught law students before but it was my first experience to teach small kids. It was very enjoyable. The class was so enthusiastic and I was impressed with the kids. Well-prepared talaga at walang makukulit masyado. I'm sure hindi ganun araw-araw," he said in jest.
The senator, who served as an English teacher for a day, did a short storytelling and helped the Grade 3 students extract the moral of the story. He also donated 800 books to the school.
Angara, a known advocate of educational reform, pointed out that while many laws have been passed to increase access to education, the government should now focus on improving the quality of education in the country.
"Progressive teaching is key in improving the quality of education in the country. I think the traditions have to change. Some of our teachers are very bookish and non-critical in their approach--very dogmatic. Teaching should really encourage our kids to love learning and develop critical thinking," he said.
The lawmaker has long been pushing for higher salaries for public school teachers in order to attract highly competent teachers to teach in public schools.
Angara's Senate Bill 135 aims to upgrade the salary grade level of teachers from SG 11 to 19, nearly doubling their current monthly base pay from P19,077 to P36,407.
Meanwhile, Teach for the Philippines said it invites different personalities to guest teach for its TFP Week in the hopes that the experience moves them to help make accessible education for all Filipino children a reality.
"I have been pushing for laws that ensure greater access to education and scholarships especially for poor and deserving students. These laws will provide them with opportunities to succeed in life as we value education as a tool to fight poverty," said Angara, author of the Free Kindergarten law and the Unified Student Financial System Act (UNIFAST).
Source: Philippine Information Agency