'Worst' teacher schools in Philippines named; closure urged

MANILA, Philippines - None of their graduates have passed the teachers licensure exams for many consecutive years yet these 17 teacher schools continue to operate.

The 17 schools were among 140 teacher schools that had been called out as the "worse and worst-performing" for their consistent low passing rate in the biannual Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

The schools posted a below-20-per cent passing rate in the LET from 2009 to 2013, based on analysis by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd).

The so-called worse and worst-performing schools made up 12 per cent of about 1,200 teacher schools in the country.

Of the 17 so-called worst-performing schools, mostly private nonsectarian schools, 11 are in Mindanao, two in the Visayas and four in Luzon including one in the capital, Manila.

According to the PBEd, four of these schools continue to exist while 10 could not be contacted at their listed phone numbers. Four others had been closed although one of them was reportedly contesting the closure order.

The four existing schools are the Universidad de Zamboanga-Ipil (Zamboanga Peninsula) and Unda Memorial National Agricultural School (ARMM) which fielded graduates in the LET elementary division, and the Southern Capital College (Northern Mindanao) and Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges (Soccsksargen) in the LET secondary division.

The 10 schools that could not be contacted were the South Upi College (ARMM), Sultan Kudarat Educational Institution (Soccsksargen), Camarines Norte State College-Labo (Bicol) and the Camarines Sur Community College (Bicol) in the elementary division; the Datu Mala Muslim Mindanao Islamic College Foundation Inc. (ARMM), Southwestern Mindanao Islamic Institute (ARMM), Southern Bukidnon Foundation Academy (Northern Mindanao), Dansalan Polytechnic College (ARMM), Southway College of Technology (Caraga) and the Wesleyan College of Manila (National Capital Region).

Those that have been closed are the Asian College of Science and Technology-Dumaguete (Central Visayas), La Consolacion College-Biñan (Calabarzon) and St. Joseph College Inc.-Amaya (Calabarzon) which has reportedly contested its closure.

Alarmed at the study findings, the PBEd urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to close down the programs of teacher education institutions (TEIs) that have consistently performed "poorly" for five years.