In its continued commitment to provide quality basic education to Filipino learners, the Department of Education (DepEd) stepped up its education management through the Superintendents’ Leadership Program (SLP).
SLP aims to strengthen leadership and management in education. It aspires to further the level of competency of all Schools Division Superintendents (SDS) and other school officials amidst DepEd’s ever-advancing policies, strategies, and organization. It is anchored on the survey that the DepEd conducted to determine the challenges, opportunities, and skills set that are integral to the changes brought by the K to 12 Program.
Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said, “This leadership program is not only for the public schools of DepEd. I think that this is the high time to institutionalize this program for the both public and private institutions in this country. I hope that this program will be enlarged and enhanced for us to reach others. ”
“Our goal is to provide access to quality education, and that requires us to have continuous learning,” DepEd Undersecretary for Governance and Operations Rizalino Rivera said.
Since the start of the program in October 2012, a total of 277 Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents from all regions have already participated, three batches have already gone through their 12 modules. These modules are designed to provide them with the required level of competencies needed to perform their role.
A new breed of education leaders
“We will not forgive ourselves if after completing the SLP, we will not do something,” Roxas City SDS Roel Bermejo said. He added that through the SLP, school officials are empowered to do the best for the teachers, school personnel, and learners.
“SLP had made us better persons, family men and women, education leaders and managers. SLP is one of the best things that happened in our lives,” Bermejo said. SDS Natividad Bayubay from Zamboanga del Norte narrated the challenges she faced when she “inherited an office that is marred by controversies and bad reputation” and how SLP enabled her to handle and manage it.
“Other initiatives are still continuously implemented and enforced. There still others that may serve as instruments of glorifying our profession and gaining back the dignity that is rightfully ours. Unpretentiously, I am conscious to the fact that the reforms and the initiatives established in my almost three years in office may be begging for more to put our division on top, but let me give you the assurance, that the office will be incessant in instituting initiatives and reforms to fully realize the reason of our very existence as a government agency,” she said.
One of the notable participants from batch 1, the first SDS among the SLP graduates to finish his doctorate degree, is SDS Jonathan De La Peña from Misamis Occidental.
De La Peña continued, “The self-perception of being competent is important for a leader to be confident and courageous in pushing reforms in the system. The self-perception of being a ‘man for other’ is a declaration of one’s commitment to serve, maybe in my case, in our public schools, where you can find most of those we call “the last, the lost, and the least.”
When asked of De La Peña was asked of the benefits of the program to his school, “I am proud to say that, aside from my degree, my biggest take away from my graduate school is its expanded learning community that reached even the farthest school in my division. Our professional relationship and friendship has served as a bridge and an alleyway for this institution to touch the lives of our children in our public schools. For two years now, our teachers have been engaging actively in research activities and were mentored through the De La Salle University (DLSU) action research network. In fact last year, we were able to send 30 teacher-researchers to our ARAL congress. This March we will be sending around 20 researchers to present and have their work validated. It is ARAL that taught our teachers on how to write and publish works in journals. The culture of research that permeates in our Division is one that has been influenced by DLSU and it has been translating into improved performance outcomes with teachers providing solutions to old-recurring instructional problems in the classrooms,” he said.
The SLP program is in partnership with DLSU, Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc., Lopez Group Foundation Inc., Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Aid through the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program.