(continued from March 28, 2021)
Looking back at last week, we have proposed ten (10) solutions each for Educational Service Delivery and Quality and for Transaction Convenience and Ease of Accreditation. As attested by the scores I ascribed, the first area needs much improvement while the latter one is average.
This is not to say that DepEd is totally at the bottom of the heap. Though we cannot say that it is in the doldrums (in fact, it tends to be like a deer about to be shot by a hunter or a headless chicken running around), it still lacks much direction and cannot seem to determine the needs of learners and of teachers and staff. Furthermore, it has ostensibly refused to learn from its past contraventions and from the fracas and rifts it has caused.
To perhaps declare to the entire world that it is doing its best and to seem to deflect public scrutiny and censure from it, the Department of Education (DepEd) seems to conjure an image of stellar performance, unblemished reputation, and bountiful compassion for the populace. However, it cannot conceal any longer its failure to zap ineptitude, corruption, bureaucracy, and apathy for our less fortunate learners among its ranks. The department seems to totally blame its teachers for their failure to deliver learning and for learners for not complying with their requirements at times. Instead of making work easier for teachers, DepEd has developed a proclivity for inundating our teachers with so much paperwork and other requisites to the point to exhaustion and suffocation on their part. It has also been notorious for not conducting further research on curricula development and for not consulting its learners and other stakeholders on what they actually need.
What is Secretary Leonor Briones, along with her doppelgangers, up to these days?
How are our learners actually performing so far through our distance learning modalities?
When will DepEd learn how to take full, wholehearted responsibility for all its shenanigans and shortcomings, including its short-sighted approaches to problem solving?
When will DepEd wake up from its slumberous trance? When will the department ever emerge from a drunken stupor, in the form of apathy towards our minorities and indifference towards our learners with special needs and from marginalized sectors?
How will DepEd explain its processes in terms of assessing accreditation applications, inspecting modules and for-broadcast contents, and scrutinizing textbooks?
When will DepEd finally compensate our teachers and staff handsomely, commensurate to their qualifications and with regard to their needs and expenses?
When will DepEd’s media front liners finally learn how to tell the truth as it is without sacrificing quality and manner?
Finally, when will Secretary Briones finally throw in the towel, raise her hands in surrender akin to Rudolph Hess or Tomoyuki Yamashita, and admit utter failure and palpable fallibility throughout her almost-six-year reign as Education Secretary?
These are the questions that have led us to continually question DepEd’s decisions, edicts, and actions. And these have led me to propose feasible and practical solutions to various problems DepEd has gotten itself into. Secretary Briones’ only concessions to the truth and to the present times areher evident mental and emotional deterioration.
Now that we have proposed solutions to problems related to Educational Service Delivery and Quality and to Transaction Convenience and Ease of Accreditation, let us now all propose solutions for Program Implementation and Support and for Professional Competence, Excellence, and Security of Personnel.
Let us all start the ball rolling as we embark on a journey to proposing remedies, no matter how long these may take effect.
A. Program Implementation and Support
DepEd must take note of my assessment of the criteria under this area, especially now that modular and online modalities are not only in fashion but are also on the verge of becoming standards and staples of education today:
|1. Efficacy of distance learning modalities||2/5||Below Average|
|2. Appropriateness of basic education curricula to present needs||2/5||Below Average|
|3. Transparency in terms of presenting platforms and issues||3/5||Average|
|4. Physical and online infrastructure utilization and maintenance||2/5||Below Average|
|5. Public awareness and consistent implementation of accreditation, job application, and enrollment guidelines||3/5||Average|
|Total score and corresponding overall interpretation||12/25||Needs Improvement|
In line with my assessment of every criteria,there are the solutions that I propose for DepEd, for their consideration, deliberation, and implementation:
1.Form a committee composed not only of teachers but also of curriculum developers and other educational experts in order to check and then approve all modules and DepEd’s for-broadcast contents.
2. Conduct a thorough inspection of all modules (from the first draft to the final draft) and all for-broadcast content for syntactical, semantic, factual, and other errors. This must be done by regional offices and then eventually approved by the central office.
3. Broadcasted content must be checked not only by the proposed committee (see item 1) but also by expert media practitioners, regardless of whether they are well-known or moderately successful in the eyes of the public.
4. Consistently promote early enrollment and support learners and their parents by being constantly present to assist them with their needs and concerns.
5. Do a nationwide inspection of existing schools as well as makeshift ones. Together with local government units, determine which areas need permanent edifices.
6. In terms of job application guidelines, make them public not only on DepEd’s official website but also on traditional and social media. Do the same for accreditation guidelines, and do not ever make these guidelines as esoteric as the hieroglyphics found in ancient Babylon and in ancient Egypt.
7. Be specific, succinct, and solutions-oriented when explaining problems pertaining to processes, programs, and platforms of the department (special mention to the undersecretaries, especially those who are constantly under the media lights).
8. See to it that every nook and corner of the archipelago has strong internet connection. Secretary Briones, do not be too presumptuous in thinking that the Philippines is totally connected online and that it is easy to hold online classes.
9. As for complaints against the way modules are written and structured, please act on them immediately. Do not wait for wounds to fester and then reach the point of necrosis (if you get what I mean, sirs and madams).
10. Involve the general public in the decision making process. We are in an inclusive democracy, not an exclusive technocracy or, to put it succinctly and applicably in the case of the upper echelons of DepEd, a kakistocracy.
Now, let us all proceed to proposing solutions for problems related to staff members’ professional competence, career excellence, and job security.
B. Professional Competence, Excellence, and Security of Personnel
To give all of you for the very last time a reminder of how I assessed DepEd in terms of professional competence and excellence and of job security of personnel, here are the scores I ascribed per criterion:
|1. Top officials’ media presence, accessibility, and performance of their duties||3/5||Average|
|2. Teachers’ work load and active conduct and presentation of research||1/5||Needs Improvement|
|3. Teachers’ and staff members’ receptiveness to training||2/5||Below Average|
|4. Training, compensation, and job security of teachers and staff||2/5||Below Average|
|5. Stringency in screening applicants especially for teaching positions and for promotion to higher positions||2/5||Below Average|
|Total score and corresponding overall interpretation||10/25||Failing|
For DepEd to be able to take better care of its personnel- with special mention to teachers- and to reduce attrition and discontentment across all ranks, I am presenting my proposed solutions:
1. Utilize the budget allocated for your department in order to compensate teachers and staff handsomely.
2. Do not condone nepotism and palakasan when promoting teachers. Round up and penalize those responsible, including those who are responsible for selling teaching items for humongous sums.
3. Encourage teachers to pursue post-graduate degrees without sacrificing their rest day; instead of making them teach and do heaping paperwork, provide them with an incentive by letting them study (and pay their salaries even if they are finishing their degree).
4. Encourage active collaboration among teachers whenever they conduct action research or any other kind of research related to their fields. Provide them with incentives especially when their research is published.
5. Create a journal devoted to teachers’ action research (I have not seen even just one that is wholly proposed and run by DepEd). Make it open to all teachers and provide them with chances to be published.
6.Teach all principals and higher ups to evaluate teachers and staff more objectively, and vice versa.
7. Make feedback more centered towards excellence and development, not a tool for instilling criticism, anxiety, and fear among those evaluated.
8. Make requirements for learning service provider accreditation less stringent so that many would be given the chance to prepare for these requirements.
9, Instead of promoting punitive measures for teachers and staff who err, except for those who have committed heinous moral turpitude, initiate remediation programs for them so that they would be able to reform their ways with the help of the community.
10. Start a 24-hour hotline for commending DepEd employees and officials for their actual, exemplary actions or for reporting red tape and other shenanigans within their ranks.
Those solutions are all that I can propose for now, my dear readers. It is all up to us as to how we can help DepEd to redeem itself from the quagmire it is in right now.
Listen up and read up, DepEd, for if you turn a blind eye on the public’s outcry, it would prove to be your own undoing.
Happy Easter to you all, my dear readers and followers! Today is the day Christ has risen from the dead! We all pray that we rise and surmount the common enemy: the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of saying, “God, I have a big problem (to quote Bro. Bo Sanchez),” we must all make this our battle cry: “PROBLEM, I HAVE A MUCH BIGGER GOD!”
If you have suggestions in terms of the education-related topics that you want me to feature, please feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com and I will reply to you as soon as I receive your email.