Investing in Leaders (Day 18)by Rey Laguda
(This is the 18th day of 50-day journey of DepEd Undersecretary Rey Laguda as being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account - Blogger/owner)
In sustaining reforms, people need to be engaged in the process of implementing it. In the last six years, the Department of Education (DepEd) has continued to invest not only in its facilities and projects but also in its personnel through continued career development and training. With the roll out of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, arguably the biggest reform in education, DepEd recognizes the importance of strengthening the capacity of its personnel in over 48,000 schools and education leaders in 18 regions and 218 division offices.
As Br. Armin Luistro, FSC says, “How do we ensure that the reforms are institutionalized? There's only one way and that is through leaders who are alive. And if there is only one legacy we would want to leave behind, it is a leadership program and leaders like you who will continue the reform.”
Providing quality basic education to almost 25 million learners also requires the Department to level up the quality of its education personnel and leaders’ capacity to cope with the ever-evolving landscape of education. In 2011, DepEd started training its teachers in time for the roll-out of the K to 12 curriculum. During this training, teachers also got a hands-on role in reviewing and providing feedback on the teaching guides and learner materials.
In 2012, the Department also started strengthening its leadership through its School Superintendents’ Leadership Program (SLP). This is one component of ensuring that reforms are institutionalized: empower its school personnel and field officials by equipping them with the skills that they need and by starting a tradition of excellence among its people. This was done with the great support and stewardship De La Salle University (DLSU), Australian Aid (AusAid), Lopez Group Foundation Inc. (LGFI), and Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc. (KCFI).
More than 270 Regional Directors, Assistant Directors, Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents from all DepEd regional offices have undergone this training program. Three batches have finished SLP while Batches 4 and 5 are still ongoing. It is envisioned that another 120 candidates will be chosen under Batches 5 and 6 to ensure second-line leaders for continuity and sustainability.
This is an ambitious program that was worth the leap and something definitely worth continuing as part of building the institution. Br. Armin Luistro, FSC mentioned this in his speech in one closing program, “We did not want to start a program that will only cover a handful. It has to be every single one of us in the field, on the same page… And as you begin your journey, you have to be ready to also die. To die to the old self and believe that there is a resurrection. We are not looking for saints; we are looking for heroes to admit their mistakes and are willing to learn again. Tonight we start that long journey.”