R.A. No. 7784, AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN TEACHER EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES BY ESTABLISHING CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE, CREATING A TEACHER EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR THE PURPOSE, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7784
AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN TEACHER EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES BY ESTABLISHING CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE, CREATING A TEACHER EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR THE PURPOSE, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. - It is the declared policy of the State to protect and protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all. It is likewise universally recognized that the teacher is the key to the effectiveness of the teaching-learning process by drawing out and nurturing the best in the learner as a human being and a worthy member of society. Thus, this Act aims to provide and ensure quality education by strengthening the education and training of teachers nationwide through a national system of excellence for teacher education.

Our vision is a teacher education system whose mission is to educate and train teachers of unquestionable integrity and competence, and who are committed to their continuing professional growth and obligation to help their students grow as responsible individuals and citizens of the Philippines and of the world.

Sec. 2. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act:

(a) "Teacher" shall mean all persons engaged in the classroom teaching of any subject, including practical/vocational arts, at the elementary and secondary levels of instruction including persons performing guidance and counseling, instructional supervision in all public or private education institutions, but shall not include school nurses, school physicians, school dentists, school administrators, and other school administrative support employees. Graduates of education who have passed the government examination for teachers although not actually employed as such, are hereby included in this definition.

(b) "Teacher education" shall mean the pre-service education, in-service education, and graduate education of teachers, in various areas of specialization.

(c) "Excellence" pertains to the efficient, effective and innovative delivery of relevant, functional, and quality programs in teacher education, training, research and community service.

(d) "Center of excellence" shall be a public or private college, institute, school or agency, engaged in the pre-service and continuing education, formal and non-formal, of teachers and top-notch educators, that has established and continues to maintain a good record in teacher education (in terms of number of graduates and their performance in the government examination for teachers and their professional achievement), research, and community service; whose graduates are models of integrity, commitment and dedication in education. The centers of excellence may exist by themselves or within a university or college.

Sec. 3. Teacher Education Centers of Excellence. - There shall be identified, designated, established and developed in strategic places in each of the regions of the country, one or more centers of excellence for teacher education based on criteria listed hereunder, assessed and adjudged by the Council. These centers of excellence shall be initially chosen from among existing public and private educational institutions by the Teacher Education Council created under this Act.

Should the need arise, certain centers of excellence for teacher education at the provincial level may later be identified and developed.

The criteria for identifying schools and colleges as centers of excellence shall include the following: (a) highly educated, professionally qualified and experienced faculty dedicated to the Philosophy, mission, vision and goals of the institution and education; (b) well-settled students; (c) adequate library, research and study facilities; (d) competent administrative and support staff; (e) well-planned and relevant instructional programs; (f) adequate student development programs; (g) adequate student services; (h) relevant extension service and outreach programs; (i) percentage of graduates who become teachers; and (j) such other criteria as may be established and operationalized by the Teacher Education Council.

The Teacher Education Centers of Excellence shall form a national network which in turn shall network with elementary schools, high schools and/or parts thereof for laboratory purposes.

Any center of excellence that is established shall be maintained for at least five (5) years before any proposal or review is made to transfer it elsewhere.

Sec. 4. Objectives and Functions of a Center of Excellence. - The objectives and functions of a center of excellence shall be to:

(a) Experiment and try out relevant and innovative pre-service teacher education/training programs;

(b) Organize and coordinate collaborative research on identified areas for systematic investigation in teacher education as basis for improving teacher education/training programs;

(c) Serve as teacher resource center for curricular/instructional materials development;

(d) Serve as the center mode for networking specific data;

(e) Provide professional assistance to Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) that have expressed the need for such assistance;

(f) Encourage mutual support among TEIs in the region for upgrading their programs; and

(g) Facilitate and help expedite accreditation among TEIs.

Sec. 5. Creation of the Teacher Education Council. - There shall be a Teacher Education Council composed of eleven (11) members with the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports as ex officio chairman, and three (3) other ex officio members, namely: a Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), a representative of the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCAA), and the Chairman of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

The seven (7) regular members of the Council who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines are:

(a) Three (3) representatives of centers of teacher education: one (1) from Luzon, one (1) from the Visayas, and one (1) from Mindanao who shall take into account the views of the parents-teachers and community associations, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, and people organizations concerned with basic education;

(b) One (1) representative of science teachers;

(c) One (1) representative of mathematics teachers;

(d) One (1) representative of social studies teachers; and

(e) One (1) representative of language teachers.

The other officers of the Council shall be elected by the members from among the regular members.

The members of the Council shall be serve without any compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred by them in carrying out their duties under this Act.

The Council shall meet at least four (4) times a year and hold such other meetings at the call of the chairman or a majority of its members.

All regular members of the Council shall hold office for a period of three (3) years.

Sec. 6. Criteria for the Selection of Regular Council Members. - The criteria for the selection of the regular Council members are as follows:

(a) Integrity;

(b) Expertise and experience in teacher education;

(c) Recognized as an expert, nationally or internationally; and

(d) Willingness to serve.

Sec. 7. Powers and Functions of the Council. - The Council shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) To identify and designate among existing private and public schools, teacher education institutions as Centers of Excellence for Teacher Education, at the national, regional, and provincial levels;

(b) To formulate policies and standards that shall strengthen and improve the system of teacher education in all existing public and private schools;

(c) Initiate a periodic review of curricula and programs for teacher education and training through participatory methods, such as self-assessment by institutions;

(d) To adopt an adequate and effective system of incentives such as scholarship grants, loan programs, subsidies, stipends and other similar benefits and incentives, in order to attract and encourage outstanding high school graduates whether from public or private schools, to pursue teacher education;

(e) To encourage the establishment of consortia and other cooperative arrangements among teacher education schools, public or private, for greater efficiency and economy in the use of resources;

(f) Design collaborative programs or projects that will enhance pre-service teacher training, in-service training, re-training orientation and teacher development;

(g) To direct the conduct of relevant studies as may be needed in the formulation of policies and in the planning and successful implementation of plans, programs and projects required in attaining the purposes of this Act;

(h) To review existing and recommend new legislation and policies of the government in order to improve teacher education and promote the welfare of teachers;

(i) To recommend appropriate measures to the President, Congress, and heads of other government offices and agencies to improve, enhance and strengthen teacher education; and

(j) To call upon any department, bureau, office, or government corporation, local government unit and other concerned agencies for assistance in areas falling within their mandate.

Sec. 8. Secretariat. - The Council shall organize and appoint a secretariat headed by an executive director, that shall assist the Council in executing its policies and programs and provide the necessary administrative support therefor.

Sec. 9. Active Participation of Local Government Units. - Local government units shall include in their plans, programs, and projects the development and improvement of teacher education through the centers of excellence in their respective regions.

Sec. 10. Appropriation. - The sum of One hundred million pesos (P100,000,000) is hereby authorized to be appropriated from the income of duty-free shops or otherwise known as the Trust Liability Account of the Department of Tourism, for the initial organizational and developmental activities of the Centers and the Council: Provided, however, That not more than five percent (5%) shall be devoted to Council's expenses. Thereafter, such amount as may be included in the annual budget of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.

Sec. 11. Implementing Rules and Guidelines. - The Teacher Education Council created under this Act shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations sixty (60) days from the approval of this Act.

Sec. 12. Repealing Clause. - All laws, presidential decrees, rules or regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 13. Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, August 4, 1994.