Do-over on evaluations

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Do-over on evaluations

The government has passed a presidential act to establish evaluation and training guidelines for teachers.

Officials see this as a way to review the performance of teachers and foster the professional growth of those who shape the minds of our youth.

The new guidelines will apply to elementary as well as middle and high schools across the nation when the new academic year starts in March.

This can be seen as a major step forward in the realm of education. It essentially establishes a common method for performance reviews and training programs to enhance professionalism among teachers and raise the education standards in the country’s classrooms.

The previous evaluation guidelines, put into use last year, were based on regulations in municipal and provincial offices of education, and they were voluntary.

Crafting rules on school education in reality fell under the jurisdiction of municipal and provisional superintendents across the country, which could determine their own policies covering this issue.

As a result, performance reviews of teachers did not take place in some areas in the face of opposition from liberal-minded superintendents.

But a higher presidential decree will make the performance measurement guidelines compulsory regardless of individual opposition from municipal education offices. Regional education offices, therefore, will be punished if they go against the government requirements.

The act, however, also has its limits because there are no laws on how to penalize the teachers who refuse to comply with assessments and accept the review results.

In the case of private schools in particular, it is not easy for the central government to force school authorities to conduct assessments of their teachers.

At the moment, though, about 40 percent of high schools are private, and 11.3 percent of their teachers resisted assessments last year.

Therefore, the act likely won’t be much more than a stopgap measure.

The government should instead come up with a better, broader law that establishes enforceable regulations so that we can improve the quality of education across our nation.

Lawmakers should understand that this is likely the only way for us to enhance the competitiveness of our public education system.

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