MAKATI CITY, July 11, 2019 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones formally recognized the turnover of scholars under the Philippine Business for Education’s (PBEd) Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Upgrade Teacher Quality in the Philippines (STEP UP) during a partnership mixer at Makati Shangri-la on June 28.
The Education chief acknowledged the 950 STEP UP scholars, represented by the 45 graduates from the University of Santo Tomas and Philippine Normal University, as presented by PBEd Executive Director Love Basillote.
Launched in 2015 by PBEd, the STEP UP program is designed to produce high-quality teachers ready for public school employment by 2019. Funded by the Australian Government under the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program, it also aims to attract top college graduates and professionals into the teaching profession by offering them competitive scholarship packages.
Briones underscored the importance of quality teachers in achieving quality education and recognized PBEd’s contribution to this.
“We want now to concentrate and to pivot on quality education and quality education cannot be achieved or nurtured or developed without quality teachers. This is what we are doing—what you are doing is very important, a very important contribution,” the Secretary stated.
Furthermore, Briones reiterated the Department’s efforts to improve the teachers’ welfare, including strengthening their professional training and development through the transformation of the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP).
“We want to transform our academy into a force which will help and result in more teachers being motivated, more teachers truly wanting to teach. And I always tell teachers, the greatest humans have always been teachers. Look at all the Nobel Prize winners, the trailblazers—they were academics, they were teachers.”
Meanwhile, PBEd assured DepEd that the STEP UP scholars are ready to join the Department and contribute to the realization of its vision and mission.
“You have all worked hard and I think I can speak for the PBED leadership, our partners in the Australian government, and the 10 leading teacher education institutions in the country when I say that indeed, you are ready for the classroom and fully equipped with the skills, knowledge, and values expected of a 21st century teacher so that all children may learn well. Congratulations, STEP UP scholars,” Basillote said.
“I have no doubt that the Australia’s partnership with PBEd would make a significant contribution to the quality of Filipino education. And I hope that you will keep the fire burning within you as you take your next step in your teaching career,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson added.
Also present in the partnership mixer were DepEd Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations Jesus Mateo; OIC of the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, Director IV Diosdado San Antonio; and OIC of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction, Director IV Alma Torio.