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Senate Approves PHP1.5 billion for Teacher Training Under ‘Matatag’ Curriculum

The Senate Committee on Finance in the Philippines has approved a funding allocation of PHP1.5 billion for the training of teachers under the ‘Matatag’ K to 10 curriculum. This decision marks a significant step in the implementation of the revised educational program, aimed at enhancing the quality of basic education in the country.

According to Philippines News Agency, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian stated that this allocation is part of the committee report on the PHP5.768-trillion General Appropriations Bill for 2024 (House Bill No. 8980). The ‘Matatag’ program, which stands for ‘Make the curriculum relevant to produce job-ready, Active and responsible citizens; TAke steps to accelerate the delivery of basic education services and provision facilities; TAke good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusiveness learning, and positive learning environment; and, give support for teachers to teach better,’ is set to be rolled out in phases starting in the academic year 2024-2025.

The Department of Education launched the revised curriculum on August 10, targeting Kindergarten to 10th graders. This new curriculum aims to address several challenges identified in the current K to 12 curriculums, including congested content, misplaced prerequisite learning competencies, and cognitive demand imbalance.

Senator Gatchalian, who chairs the Committee on Basic Education and earlier recommended a PHP1.7 billion budget, highlighted the importance of this funding for training approximately 200,000 teachers. He described the ‘Matatag’ K to 10 curriculums as a key initiative to improve learners’ performance.

The need for such reforms was underscored by the results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This large-scale international assessment revealed that Filipino learners struggled with basic competencies, with the Philippines ranking lowest in Reading and second to the last in Mathematics and Science among 79 participating countries.

Senator Gatchalian also called on the Teacher Education Council to ensure that teacher training and education are aligned with the goals and requirements of the ‘Matatag’ curriculum, emphasizing the vital role of educators in the successful implementation of this educational reform.