Photo From Department of Education’s Website

Department of Education — In recent discussions held by the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2), the importance of collaboration and stakeholder participation in education reforms has emerged as a key factor for success. Led by Executive Director Karol Mark Yee, EDCOM 2 highlighted the need for a coherent strategy and strong coordination within the education system. The discussions, which took place during the LIDER 7 event organized by the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC), shed light on various aspects, including the coordination of government agencies, the role of legislation, and the involvement of education stakeholders.

Coordinated Strategies and Government Processes

Yee emphasized the significance of establishing a shared and coordinated strategy between government agencies involved in education reforms. He stressed the importance of aligning the Philippine Development Plan, the General Appropriations Act (GAA) targets, and the agencies’ Major Final Outputs (MFOs). This alignment would enable strategies to be leveraged across agencies, fostering effective coordination. Yee also emphasized the need to assess existing processes and systems within the government to ensure a strong foundation for collaboration.

Promoting Genuine Coordination and Assessment

EDCOM 2’s role, according to Yee, is to enable genuine coordination and facilitate the assessment of progress and monitoring of agencies involved in education reforms. Yee acknowledged the multitude of government instruments available for planning and coordination and emphasized their potential to enhance the education sector. By ensuring genuine coordination, EDCOM 2 aims to establish an effective system that can evaluate the progress of reforms and make adjustments as necessary.

Building Public and Stakeholder Support

Joseph Noel Estrada, Chief Legal Officer of EDCOM 2, emphasized the importance of garnering public and stakeholder support for the reform initiatives. Estrada acknowledged that the success of the Commission extends beyond its three-year lifespan, necessitating oversight and continued implementation of the proposed solutions. To ensure the long-term survival of reforms, Estrada advocated for the establishment of an office dedicated to monitoring and evaluating education reforms. He also highlighted the benefits of public support, as it provides a strong political foundation and helps ensure the continuity of reforms across different administrations.

The Role of Education Stakeholders

Yee highlighted the critical role played by education stakeholders in building a strong constituency for reform. Stakeholders, including parents’ organizations, industries, and civil society organizations (CSOs), need to organize and work together to ensure that the government remains committed to its reform path. By maintaining a check and balance in government initiatives, stakeholders can contribute to the continuous improvement of the quality of education. EDCOM 2 recognizes the importance of engaging and involving stakeholders throughout the reform process.

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DepEd’s Focus on Disaster Preparedness

On the other side of the story, in a separate effort, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been actively strengthening its preparedness for disasters and emergencies. Recently, DepEd organized an orientation for officials and members of the Management Committee (Mancom) on the concepts of the Public Service Continuity Plan (PSCP). Led by the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service (DRRMS), the orientation aimed to guide officials in crafting DepEd’s own PSCP. The plan will outline strategies and mechanisms to ensure uninterrupted operations and improved response during disruptions, emergencies, or disasters.

Importance of Preparedness and Continuity Planning

Christian E. Rivero, the Director of DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, underlined the utmost importance of the orientation coinciding with the nationwide observance of National Disaster Resilience Month. Rivero emphasized the inevitability of disasters and highlighted the criticality of proactive readiness. With a strong emphasis on preparedness and the development of continuity plans, DepEd strives to diminish the adverse effects of calamities and facilitate a rapid recovery process. Echoing Rivero’s sentiments, Raffy Lucas, a representative from the Office of Civil Defense, underscored the pivotal role of continuity planning in facilitating the seamless execution of essential responsibilities, reducing disruptions, and ensuring a seamless transition of leadership during times of crisis.

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Promoting Well-being and Resilience

In accordance with the theme “BIDAng Pilipino: Fostering Resilient Filipino Empowerment for Disaster Preparedness,” the DRRMS organized a resilience symposium named “Preparedness Unleashed: Thriving in Work and Home.” The symposium placed a spotlight on the fundamental role of well-being in bolstering resilience and readiness for calamities and crises. It underscored the utmost importance of prioritizing the well-being of educators and DepEd personnel, who hold vital responsibilities in educating and nurturing millions of students. Deliberations also centered around the criticality of preparedness in safeguarding lives, minimizing destruction and recovery expenses, and upholding community resilience and economic stability.

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Conclusion

EDCOM 2’s emphasis on collaboration, stakeholder participation, and strong coordination serves as a foundation for effective education reforms in the Philippines. By aligning strategies, engaging stakeholders, and establishing long-term support mechanisms, the Commission aims to ensure continuity in efforts to improve the quality of education. Additionally, DepEd’s focus on disaster preparedness and continuity planning underscores the commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and education personnel. With these initiatives in place, the Philippines is poised to strengthen its education system and enhance its resilience in the face of future challenges.

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