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    Basic Education Sector ReformAgenda (2006-2010)Department of Education, Republic ofthe Philippines, August 2005 The Department of Education(DepED) is currently implementingthe SchoolsFirst Initiative, an effort to improvebasic education outcomes through abroadly participated, popularmovement featuring a wide variety ofinitiativesundertaken by individual schools andcommunities as well as networks ofschools at localities involving schooldistricts and divisions, localgovernments, civil societyorganizations and other stakeholdergroups andassociations.Even as the Schools First Initiativeseeks to improve the way all publicschools perform now, the DepED isalso undertaking fundamentalreforms tosustain better performance. DepED ispursuing a package of policy reformsthat as a whole seeks tosystematically improve criticalregulatory,institutional, structural, financial,cultural, physical and informationalconditionsaffecting basic education provision,access and delivery on the ground.These

    policy reforms are expected to createcritical changes necessary to furtheraccelerate, broaden, deepen andsustain the improved education effortalready being started by the SchoolsFirst Initiative. This package of policyreforms is called the Basic EducationSector Reform Agenda (BESRA). This document summarizes thecontents of this agenda.Overall objectives of BESRA The policy actions comprising theBESRA seek to create a basiceducationsector that is capable of attaining thecountrys Education for All Objectivesbythe year 2015. In summary, theseobjectives are:1. Universal Adult Functional Literacy:All persons beyond school-age,regardless oftheir levels of schooling shouldacquire the essential competence tobe consideredfunctionally literate in their nativetongue, in Filipino or in English.2. Universal School Participation andElimination of Drop-outs andRepetition in First Three Grades: All children aged sixshould enter school ready to learnand preparedto achieve the required competenciesfrom Grade 1 to 3 instruction.

    3. Universal Completion of the FullCycle of Basic Education Schoolingwith SatisfactoryAchievement Levels by All At EveryGrade or Year: All children aged six toelevenshould be on track to completingelementary schooling withsatisfactory achievementlevels at every grade, and all childrenaged twelve to fifteen should be ontrack tocompleting secondary schooling withsimilarly satisfactory achievementlevels atevery year.4. Total Community Commitment toAttainment of Basic EducationCompetencies forAll: Every community should mobilizeall its social, political, cultural andeconomicresources and capabilities to supportthe universal attainment of basiceducationcompetencies in Filipino and English.In order for the basic education sectorto achieve the above listed desirededucational outcomes for all Filipinos,the BESRA focuses on specific policyactions within five key reform thrusts(KRT) as follows:Final BESRA 20 Aug 2005Page 2 of 14 KRT 1: Get all schools tocontinuously improve

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    KRT 2: Enable teachers to furtherenhance their contribution tolearning outcomes KRT 3: Increase social support toattainment of desired learningoutcomes KRT 4: Improve impact onoutcomes from complementary earlychildhood education, alternativelearning systems and private sectorparticipation KRT 5: Change institutional cultureof DepED to better support thesekey reform thrustsIn short, the five key reform thrusts ofBESRA are on: schools, teachers,social support to learning,complementary interventions, andDepEDsinstitutional culture.Preparation of BESRA Policy ProposalsIn the next ten months from August2005 to May 2006, various taskteamsorganized by DepED, with membersdrawn from various stakeholdergroupsand consultants engaged to assistthem, are preparing the specificproposalsfor each policy action identified anddescribed in this document. Most oftheproposals are matters within thefunction, authority and power ofDepED

    management to decide in accordancewith existing laws; others requireactionby other government offices including

    the Office of the President; yet othersmay require new or amendedlegislation. As each of the policyproposals isdetailed and specified, the draftofficial documents shall be reviewedanddecided by DepED management.Those proposals that are within theadministrative and legal authority ofDepED will be adopted asappropriate;those that require action by othergovernment authorities shall be dulyendorsed for their appropriate action;those that require legislation will besubmitted for consideration ofCongress. The preparation of each policyproposal included in the BESRA shallfollowthe careful, deliberate, research-based, participatory and interactiveprocessthat marked the manner of preparingthe whole BESRA itself. Actual data,available facts and scientific researchshall inform the policy preparationprocess. Consultations, publichearings, peer reviews, solicitationsofpositions papers, among other meansof securing contributions from all

    concerned and interested, shall berequired prior to the formulation ofanydraft policy proposal. The

    membership of the task teams shallseek torepresent those closest to the issuesin order to assure that their concernsareincorporated in the very process offormulating policy proposals. Thediscussions and deliberationsundertaken in the course offormulating allpolicy proposals shall be fully andadequately documented.As each policy proposal is submittedby the various task teams to DepEDmanagement, a routine process ofpublic announcement anddissemination ofthe recommended draft proposalshall provide the general public withadequate opportunity to comment oneach proposal prior to its finaladoption.Final BESRA 20 Aug 2005Page 3 of 14Key Reform Thrust 1: School-levelstakeholders improve their ownschools continuously.Why this reform thrust is important:Schools are the community-basedsocialinstitutions that provide the mostwidely available formally organized

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    instruction, which is expected toenable students to learn and therebyattaintheir desired educational outcomes. If

    schools are to deliver betteroutcomesin a sustainable manner, the keystakeholders, within the school andthecommunity served by the school,must be enabled and empowered tomanage their school-level affairs sothat they deliberately andcontinuouslyimprove the link between their ownefforts and their collectively desirededucational outcomes. The centralinsight of this reform thrust is thatpeoplemost actively and directly involved inand affected by the schoolsoperationsare the best people to improve thequality of these schools.Progress in this key reform thrust willbe indicated by:1. Increased percentages of all publicschools that have current schoolimprovement plans (SIP) prepared,implemented and monitoredthrough a participatory process led byschool heads working withorganized school governing councils(SGC).2. Increased percentages of publicschools with SIP's prepared,

    implemented and monitored thru aparticipatory process that meetspecific quality dimensions includedin an SIP assessment instrument.

    (These quality dimensions include:linkage of SIP activities withimproved learning outcomes; depthor level of community participation;priority given to meeting teachersneeds for better teaching practice;support given to classroomimprovement; and consistency withschools long-term developmentplans).3. Increased levels of resourcesmanaged and controlled at the schoollevel.4. Improved levels of school-widestudent performance based on resultsof national standardized tests.Main policy actions identified togenerate progress in this key reformthrust:The following three policy actions areall within the legal mandate ofChapter1- Governance of Basic Education,Section E. School level of Republic ActNo. 9155, Governance of BasicEducation Act of 2001.1.1 A head for every school: Ensurethat every school or cluster of schoolsisled by a school head who is selected,prepared, supported, monitored andmade accountable for organizing andleading an institutionalized school

    improvement process at theschool/community level.1.2 A school/community process ofcontinuous school improvement:

    Institutionalize an efficient,participatory, and continuous schoolimprovement process in every school.Enable every school to routinelyprepare a school improvement plan(SIP), implement it, monitor andreportits implementation, and evaluate itsresults in terms of school-wideFinal BESRA 20 Aug 2005Page 4 of 14attainment of desired earningoutcomes. Enable every school anditscommunity to establish and maintainfunctional and empowered SchoolGoverning Councils supporting theoperational leadership of the schoolhead in the school improvementprocess. Provide schools with meanstoadopt mechanisms and practices forschool-level accountability to parents,community, LGU's, and the DepEDhierarchy, including use of SchoolProfiles, School Report Cards andsimilar modes of reportingmeasurements of school-wideeducational outcomes (participation,completion and achievement).Expand schools use of studenttracking

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    systems to, among others, follow-upstudents who are frequently absent,encountering difficulties and/or whoare lagging behind. Establish and

    sustain school/community levelmeasures for enhancing basic healthandnutrition conditions of students andschool staff, which should be includedas an important part of the SIP and akey responsibility of the SGC.1.3 A school-based resourcemanagement framework: Create asimple andpractical school-based framework forcomprehensive management of allresources available to schools (e.g.,those coming from the GAA, localgovernment funds, communitycontributions and other sources), fortheattainment of the schools

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