Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eng’g, math and science grads to teach in K+12 program

Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones

MALOLOS CITY—The next generation of Filipino students will have stronger foundation in mathematics and science, a party-list representative said.

This, through graduates of science, mathematics, statistics and engineering courses who will teach students under the kindergarten plus 12 (K+12) program.

“We have to start with education to build a solid foundation,” said Rep. Angelo Palmones of Agham partylist.

A former science journalist Palmones filed House Bill 3479 that seeks to allow graduates in science, mathematics and engineering courses to teach science and mathematics in elementary and secondary levels.

He said it was designed to increase exposure and awareness of the younger generation to science and mathematics.

“The reason why only few Filipinos are pursuing engineering and science courses is due to poor foundation in both subjects,” he said.

He said the country needs more engineers and scientists to further boost the local economy noting that science and technology contribute at least 70 percent to the economic growth of industrialized countries.

In newly-industrializing countries, economic data showed that science and technology contribution is at 45 to 55 percent; among underdeveloped countries, it contributes 30 percent to economic growth.

For the Philippines, Palmones said science and technology contribution is estimated at 40 percent. He added that it can be further increased if there are more engineers and scientists in the county.

He cited recommendations from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) that there should be 380 trained science and technology personnel for every one million population.

In the Philippines, Palmones said, there are only 165 research and development personnel per million population.

“We need more engineering and science graduates if we are to boost our economic development.

He said it can be done with the inclusion of science and engineering graduates as instructors in the K+12 program.

“Instead of going to call center they can work and share their expertise to thousands other young Filipinos,” the party-list representative said.

He explained that teaching science and mathematics requires not only theory, but passion and the most passionate are graduates of the said courses.

Based on HB 3479, Palmones said that engineering graduates can immediately teach under the K+12 provided they have to take 18 units of education course in five years, and pass the Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET).

He added that it is a big opportunity for young graduates because they can teach for five years without the LET.

“After HB 3479 is approved, I believe that it will only take eight to 10 years for us to see its fruit,” Palmones said. (Dino Balabo)