The project improves basic education by implementing a new strategy to lift access to quality education through a new and innovative approach to teacher recruitment and training recruitment from a different, more talented pool of candidates, coupled with pre- and in-service training of teachers enabled by improved teaching methods and innovative use of technology in developing and training teachers. ADB assistance will support the project by financing: (i) the development and implementation of a Summer Institute where the TFP Teaching Fellows are trained in maximizing the use of innovative technologies in the classroom; (ii) the development of online teaching materials and modules, as well as an IT based in-service training and support mechanism or intranet for Teacher Fellows; and (iii) Comprehensive monitoring and evaluating system established.
Between 2010 and 2013 ADB financed the Computer Access Mentorship Program (CAMP) in partnership with TFP's predecessor, Sa Aklat Sisikat. Focused on functional literacy and technology, CAMP trained existing public school teachers through an online program to enhance their skills at teaching reading. However, after three years of implementation, the CAMP TA found that inadequate teacher quality was a more complex problem than previously understood. The education institutes that produce existing teachers are inadequate, as evidenced by the low scores of licensure examination takers.
A newer and different approach is needed an approach that sourced teachers from a different pool of talent and then accelerated learning through online and face-to-face training, technical support provided through the use of innovative technologies, and professional development opportunities. Built on lessons learned, TFP will identify, select, and train promising recent graduates and young professionals, committing them to teach for two years in high-need and under-resourced public school classrooms. The TFP program exposes these carefully selected, highly skilled teacher candidates to the latest developments in educational pedagogy and practice, including maximizing technology and the use of Internet as a resource in the classroom. Another innovative strategy in the TA is the emphasis on an Alumni Program.
The proposed TA would complement DepED's Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students project, which aims to bring Internet connectivity to the country's 6,400 public high schools. This project includes some public elementary schools in the National Capital Region. Because TFP teachers benefit from training on how to maximize the Internet as a resource for students, the TA complements this initiative. Beyond the Philippines, the organization commits to sharing its knowledge and lessons learned with the 28 partners of the Teach for All network.
The project will deliver three outputs: (i) TFP Summer Institute established; (ii) Online intranet to support TFP Teaching Fellows developed; and (iii) Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system established.
(i) TFP Summer Institute Established. This output will support the establishment of the nine-week TFP Summer Institute, an intensive nine-week training program that includes instruction on progressive pedagogy, Philippines curriculum requirements and ways to maximize use of IT and the internet in the classroom. The TA will finance the research, development and implementation of the TFP Summer Institute, including setup costs, the training of trainers, the purchase of IT equipment, and the development of IT software for training. It will also finance the development and implementation of program and curriculum, including development of pre-service training modules in areas such as teaching as leadership, literacy and reading strategies, pedagogy, and subject specific curriculum content, as well as support the sourcing of expert resource consultants to train selected teachers.
(ii) Online Intranet to Support TFP Teaching Fellows Developed. As discovered through the CAMP baseline and post-implementation surveys, an investment in hardware does not always translate into improved performance. Hardware investments, coupled with investments in software and IT systems can generate a much more sustainable program impact. As part of its support framework, the TA will develop an interactive, online intranet and communications system to provide ongoing professional development and pedagogical support for TFP Teaching Fellows while they are undertaking their two-year engagement in public high schools. It will also support the development of a TFP alumni network, including an online database, social media channels and interactive communications tools.
(iii) Comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation System Established. The TA will develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system to track the progress of the Teaching Fellows and school students, in order to identify areas for improvement. Systematic monitoring and evaluation will be carried out to identify key lessons learned from the design and implementation of the TFP. The project will also finance the development and implementation of an online monitoring system to track student performance and monitor indicators such as Teaching Fellow and student satisfaction, net enrollment rates, dropout rates, completion rates and levels of functional literacy. School visits and interviews will also be used to evaluate the implementation progress of TFP and to identify areas needing improvement. In collaboration with the MIT Poverty Action Lab, TFP will design and implement a pilot impact survey framework and develop data capturing tools to be used over multiple cycles of recruitment.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Despite good progress on education indicators during the 1990s and a continuing high level of Government commitment to the Philippine National Education for All 2015 Plan and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the country appears unlikely to achieve the MDG targets of universal access to basic education by 2015. Key education indicators remain well below MDG target levels. The Philippines Country Partnership Strategy 2011 2016 emphasizes basic education, including supporting the implementation of the extension of the basic education cycle from 10 to 12 years. The interventions aim to reverse recent declines in key education indicators and emphasize regional and income-based inequalities in MDG achievement. The focus of ADB assistance is on the development of innovative approaches, including PPPs, and development and implementation of reforms in higher education.
While the Philippines is likely to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for access in primary education, those for completion rates at the primary level are unlikely to be met. The secondary education subsector performance is more problematic. The net enrollment rate (NER) for elementary school rose from 90.7% in 2002/03 to 95.4% in 2010/11, while the NER for secondary school improved from 59.7% to 64.5% over that same period. School dropout (as measured by the school leavers rate) is a concern. In 2011, out of 100 children who started Grade 1, only 54 completed high school. While the cohort survival rate (CSR) at elementary public schools rose from 71.8% to 73.5% and the Grade 1 dropout rate fell from 17.1% to 16.4% between 2003/04 and 2011/12, progress has been too slow to put the Philippines on track to meet its EFA 2015 Plan targets. The secondary school CSR has been highly variable over the past 20 or so years, with significant drops and subsequent recoveries in the late 1990s and mid-2000s. In 2011/12, it stood at 78.8%, while the average dropout rate stood at 7.8%, with the CSR being about 1 percentage point above the 2003/04 level and the dropout rate less than half a percentage point below 2003/04.
There are significant regional disparities in gross enrolment ratios (GER) and NER at both the elementary and secondary school levels. Between 2002 and 2008, these regional differences widened at the elementary school level, but reduced somewhat at the secondary school level. Those regions with high elementary participation rates tended to also have high secondary participation rates. Cohort survival rates and completion rates also differ across regions. Regional differences in elementary CSR and completion rates at the elementary school level narrowed between 2002 and 2008, while those at the secondary school level widened somewhat over the same period.
There is wide variation in enrolment rates across income quintiles particularly at the secondary school level. In 2011, the secondary school NER for the poorest quintile was more than 35 percentage points below that of the richest quintile. School dropout is highly concentrated among the poor and other disadvantaged groups. In recent years, dropout rates have hovered at 6.0%-7.3% for elementary students, with higher dropout rates in secondary education (7.8% in SY2011/12, 12.5% in SY2005/06). Annual Poverty Indicator Survey (APIS) data and other evidence suggest that demand-side factors such as poverty and parents' education levels are key determinants of enrollment. APIS data from 2011 show that the school leavers rate for children aged 6-11 from the poorest quintile is 4.6%, more than 7 times higher than that of children in the same age group from the richest quintile (0.7%). Similarly, the school leavers rate for children aged 12-15 from the poorest quintile is 14.2%, more than 13 times higher than that of children in the same age group from the richest quintile (1.1%). The school leavers rate for boys in both age groups is even higher than the average for the quintile.
DepED calculates that it will need at least 150,000 additional teachers over the next five years to meet the demands of the current teacher shortages plus the two additional school years that form part of the K to 12 program. This would require an increase from the current standard hiring rate of 10,000 teachers to over 30,000 teachers annually; in fact, the DepEd hired over 60,000 teachers for the 2013/14 academic year. However, this accelerated hiring rate does not account for the fact that on average (2009 2011), only 23,000 candidates pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) annually.
Better teacher quality is a key to improving student learning outcomes. This is recognized by BESRA, which places improved teacher standards among its top priorities. Unfortunately, most public school teachers are ill-equipped to overcome the challenges presented to them. To begin with, the training and professional development opportunities available to most public school teachers both during their formal education years and while on the job are largely inadequate. Many public school teachers receive substandard education and pre-service training. What's more, while employed in the schools particularly those in rural and other marginalized areas these teachers have few opportunities for in-service training. Thus, year after year, these teachers continue to use outdated, ineffective teaching methods in their classrooms such as lecture and dictation that fail to capture the attention and imagination of their students. The majority of public and non-elite private school teachers lack the basic skills to be effective educators. The average mean score on the LET has been stagnant at below 50% for almost a decade. As in every preceding year, the number of last year's examination repeaters constituted close to 50% of those tested.
Student Achievement. It is not surprising therefore, that Philippine public and non-elite private school students' low achievement scores reveal that the quality of instruction does not adequately develop the analytical and critical thinking skills needed for comprehension. National Achievement Test results of high school students from 2007 to 2010 show that the mean percentage score dropped from 49.3% to 45.6%. Negligible gains were made in elementary school scores. The statistics on educational outcomes are sobering: (i) most Filipino children enter school at grade 1. In 2011, out of 100 children who started Grade 1, only 54 had completed high school; (ii) the Philippines scored third from the bottom in both science and mathematics in the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS); and (iii) fewer than 1% of the 1.4 million grade 6 elementary students who took the High School Readiness Test (HSRT) in 2004 managed a passing score in Mathematics, English and Science subjects, while only 2% of high school students achieved a passing score.