Learning as a Way of Life (Day 9)by Rey Laguda
(This is the DepEd USec Rey Laguda's Day 7 of 50-day journey being serialized here with his permission, culled from his Facebook account. - Blogger/owner)
Over the past six years, we have been unceasing in improving management and governance processes that will allow us to better deliver quality education. It is imperative that the organization, at all levels, becomes a learning institution to sustain relevance and effectiveness.
Given our size as a bureaucracy, solutions need to come from many pockets of the organization. In many cases, solutions come at the point of interaction with our learners - the school. Thus, it is important to empower school personnel - teachers empowered to manage their class and facilitate learning, school heads empowered to manage their faculty and school. It is equally important that divisions and regions are empowered to manage the network of schools and the education system within a geographic area. The Department of Education embarked on a program to promote Continuous Improvement (CI) in offices and schools and promote the principles of shared leadership and governance —reminding the schools, divisions, and regions that DepEd is not only the central management in Pasig City.
Continuous Improvement (CI) emphasizes a process involving the discipline of ASSESSING, ANALYZING, and ACTING in order to streamline, in a more systematic and learner-focused way, engagements within schools and offices to achieve educational outcomes.
DepEd and the Philippine-Australian Human Resource and Organizational Development Facility (PAHRODF) jointly initiated in 2013 the Continuous Improvement towards Learner Excellence (CITLE) Project which aims to train school officials in this CI process through competency-building workshops and continuous coaching. From an initial 34 schools belonging to 9 divisions in 2013, CITLE now champions the CI process in about 3,000 schools from 104 divisions in 2016. Through a continuing partnership under the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), schools came up with their own solutions that addressed problems on school performance such as high drop-out rates, low achievement rate, weak reading and math abilities of learners.
Applying the principles of Continuous Improvement has resulted in the development of effective solutions, in the empowerment of school heads, teachers and personnel and ultimately, better management at the school level. The process unlocks value through innovation, critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration. But in order to sustain such progress, DepEd looks to continuously extend CI in all levels of governance in the bureaucracy. The goal is that we also embody learning itself. We have to push that learning will be constant, encompassing, and evolving.