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PIA Press Release

DepEd tests teachers on English proficiency

Pasig City (1 February) -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is conducting the Test of English Proficiency for Teachers (TEPT) in three batches in selected schools nationwide as part of the department's comprehensive approach to address English deficiency among elementary and secondary public school teachers.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently gave a directive to give particular attention to teachers in English, Science and Mathematics in low performing schools culled from the 2007 National Achievement Test.

"We have to determine exactly what we can do to improve English proficiency among our teachers to allow us to come up with more appropriate programs that will address the problem," DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said.

The test will specifically measure teachers' aptitude on the structure of the English language, reading comprehension, written expression and grammar. An estimated 12,794 teachers from 1,898 elementary schools and 1,709 teachers from 265 secondary schools will undergo testing.

The TEPT started on January 26-27, 2008 for Luzon. The next tests will be held on February 2-3 for the Visayas and February 9-10 for Mindanao. A post-test will be conducted in January to February 2009 to assess the gains of the program.

Director Nelia Benito of the DepEd National Educational Testing and Research Center said the test results will be used in crafting programs that will tackle teachers' deficiencies in teaching English. "The test will also provide baseline data for policy and decision makers in formulating effective programs to address the needs of the teachers," she stressed.

It will pinpoint areas of concern that require immediate attention during the conduct of the program and lead to specific action plans to solve the deficiency and improve school performance. "Policy and decision makers can promptly formulate lessons, instructions and manuals that directly deal with the areas of concern," she added.

Before the TEPT, DepEd previously conducted training on English instruction for some 137,420 elementary and secondary teachers. Under the National English Proficiency Program (NEPP), teachers are trained to mentor other teachers. About 7,300 teachers underwent intensive and hands-on training in English proficiency. The teachers in turn echoed what they learned to 95,000 teachers in their respective schools under the Teachers Mentoring Teachers program. (DepEd) [top]

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