Upgrading Science and Math Education
MANILA, Philippines - The government is stepping up its efforts to upgrade the quality of Science and Mathematics (S&M) education in the country. For next school year, the Department of Education is focusing on selected public elementary and secondary schools in Mindanao. Funding has been allocated for the purchase of S&M instructional materials and devices, and the conduct of teacher training.
The government invested in teacher training in the region in 2001-2005 under the Mindanao Upgrading of Science Teachers, an intensive two-week training program for elementary and secondary teachers. It provided software packages in S&M free to 27,200 high schools with information and communications technology facilities. S&M teachers are urged to pursue graduate studies to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The Department of Science and Technology, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority offer scholarships to teachers. There are also Regional Science Teaching Centers in universities that run teacher training programs.
S&M education has been facing a number of challenges these past decades, including curriculum change. A study by the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development of the University of the Philippines in 2007 reported that "A review of the math and science curricula in elementary and high school showed that topics are compartmentalized, inquiry is not encouraged, contents are overcrowded, concepts are by rote, and topics are repetitive. …