P. Vicerra1, J. Bingcang2, A. Ogena1

1University of the Philippines (PHILIPPINES)
2Philippine Science High School (PHILIPPINES)
Teachers are not the only ones that ought to be competent in using Information and Communications Technology for teaching. Since education is a vital component of an individual’s growth and development as part of the workforce and society, it is critical that the students are taught and nurtured well early on. Using sufficient ICT competencies, teachers should be able to cultivate the students to become collaborative, good problem-solvers, and creative learners.

An international benchmark of competencies on effective teaching of ICT has been established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in partnership with industry leaders and global subject experts, and this is the so called UNESCO’s ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. Employing this Framework to assess the competencies of the EUF participants provides a glimpse of the group’s level of ICT competency using an international set of standards. Three different approaches are employed in the Framework, which connect education policy with economic growth: Technology Literacy; Knowledge Deepening; and Knowledge Creation. These three approaches are the successive stages of a teacher’s development.

For this paper, competencies were measured using a Likert scale type of instrument where 1 shows a weak grasp of the indicator and 5 is the highest showing high proficiency. It was completed by 18 participants from five schools in two regions of the Philippines. Two schools are from a rural area in Southern Tagalog and the three others from the Metropolitan Manila. To add to this, a basic interview was performed with the teachers for each of the schools to supplement the test results.
From the self-administered and self-assessed accomplishment of the instrument, the means of the scores were computed by school and by indicator. Across all categories of standards of ICT competencies, the specialised elementary school in the Metropolitan area displayed the highest mean score while both rural schools attained the lowest scores, especially on competencies under the knowledge-deepening approach. The other Metropolitan schools displayed average mean scores across the three approaches. The low mean scores of the rural may be in part of the schools' lack of access and exposure to ICT as well as unavailability of ICT provisions such as computers, internet connection, and electrical power, which are all accessible and available for the three other schools. This somehow inculcated reservation toward ICT integration but the teachers are prepared to learn because of their recognition that it is a necessary tool to develop their teaching styles and also for the benefit of the students.

This is a key intervention to gauge the state of teacher competency in the time of rapid ICT development. Based on the UNESCO Standards, it presents a baseline of the aspects of enhancement educators can receive. This is a central concern because in this knowledge society, the teachers as facilitators of learning are essential to train independent, life-long learners by establishing a student-centred learning environment with the aide of technology.