The Philippine development and poverty reduction strategy is articulated in the Government’s Medium –Term Development Plan (MTPDP ) 2004-2010. It gives high priority to achieving universal basic education.
The country’s education strategy is anchored on the National Education for All (EFA) 2015 Plan and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to provide an overarching policy framework for basic education with a vision that all Filipinos will acquire basic competencies.
This particular challenges for basic education have been acknowledge by the country’s leaders and educators and there have been important gains made in the last decade.
Important initiatives on rationalization were introduced by DepEd administration following the passage of the Governance of Basic Education Act ( Republic Act RA 9155) in 2001 with its emphasis on its declaration that “ the school shall be the heart of the formal education system. ”
The reform proposal were progressively
refined and by 2005,there was widespread
consensus on the need for urgent sector-
wide strategies that would place schools
first and empower local communities to
take initiative to achieve school improvement.
This consensus was articulated as the
School First Initiative (SFI). The strategies
were in turn translated into policy actions
under the Government’s Basic Education
Reform Agenda ( BESRA ).
DepEd Order on BESRA
No. 23 s. 2010 ADOPTION OF THE BESRA IMPLEMENTATION
ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN, 2010-2012: A BLUEPRINT
FOR TRANSFORMING THE BASIC EDUCATION
No. 87 s. 2009 CREATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOMENT (OD)
AND LIVELIHOOD/TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL
EDUCATION TECHNICAL WORKING GROUPS (TWGs)
No. 34 s. 2009 MOVING FORWARD IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BASIC EDUCATION REFORM AGENDA (BESRA)
No. 16 s. 2008 COORDINATNG MECHANISMS FOR IMPLEMENTING
THE BASIC EDUCATION SECTOR REFORM AGENDA
No. 69 s. 2007 COORDINATNG MECHANISMS FOR IMPLEMENTING
ACTIONS UNDER THE BASIC EDUCATION SECTOR REFORM AGENDA (BESRA)
DepEd Memo on SBM
No. 149 s. 2007 UTILIZING THE ACCREDITATION PROGRAM
FOR PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS (APPES)
CRITERIA FOR PLANNING SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
UNDER THE SCHOOL BASED MANAGEMENT (SBM)
II. What exactly is the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda or BESRA?
BESRA is a package of interrelated policy actions intended to bring about a fundamental change in how education is delivered across the basic education sector, and in how reforms in the basic education sector are planned and implemented.
The BESRA policy actions are organized under Five Key Reform Thrusts ( KRTs )
that focus on:
1.Strengthened School- Based Management (SBM)
The first KRT relates to the reform principle that the best people to improve the quality of schools are the people most directly affected by the school’s operations – namely the school heads, the teachers, the students’ parents and others in the community .
Ex. Implementation of School and Annual Improvement Plans
MOOE maintenance/ operation of expenses based on needs
2. Improved teaching effectiveness and teacher development
The second KRT focuses on the important role of the teachers as driving force in improving student learning and educational quality at the school level.
Ex. Teachers’ in-service trainings, seminars and scholarships.
National Competency Based Teachers Standards or ( NCBTS ) application and implementation
3. Enhanced quality assurance through standards and assessment .
The third KRT is focused on ensuring wide social support for learning in schools. People from all sectors of society play an important role not only in supporting the work of the teachers, but also in supporting schools and all the curricular processes that aim to promote student learning.
Ex. Brigada Eskwela, GPTCA, Brgy. RTA, Vendors, Govt.
Officials, Private sectors and NGOs
4. Improved access and learning outcomes through alternative learning, etc.
The fourth KRT emphasizes the variety of educational experiences that can help learners attain the learning goals. This includes having early childhood learning experiences, alternative learning systems, and other varied learning experiences to help students attain highest levels of learning.
Ex. Full implementation of RBEC instruction, learning resources, curricular and extra curricular activities .
5. Institutionalized culture change in the Dep.Ed
The fifth KRT refers to the Department of Education’s institutional culture to have a change from prescribing actions through orders and memos to facilitating school initiatives and assuring quality.
Why is the BESRA a good reform package? Why BESRA is the promise of redemption?
According to Dr. Allan Bernardo, a professor of De la Salle University in a Forum on Education about BESRA’s Promise….. “There are many important reasons why BESRA is a truly positive set of policy reform initiatives.
The most important reason is the Educational Philosophy underlying the various components BESRA. All components of the reform initiatives are intended to help Filipino learners to attain higher levels of learning and achievement. The higher levels of learning are defined in terms of cognitive and affective knowledge in the major learning areas that would allow the learner to effectively participate in diverse and complex life situations beyond the school and to continue life learning.”
NINE POSITIVE QUALITIES OF BESRA
First, BESRA focuses on the improving student learning processes and outcome.
Second , BESRA affirms the need to employ diverse approaches to facilitating learning in the classroom.
Third , BESRA locates the reform interventions at the level of the school and the classroom.
Fourth, locating the reform initiatives at the school level also creates stronger accountabilities to the community, and allows for more responsive and more relevant school programs.
Fifth, BESRA recognizes the important role of teachers and teacher development in improving student learning outcomes.
Sixth, BESRA builds on community-school relationships, and aims to strengthen such relationships by looking at the community as a resource for improving schools, and by ensuring that schools are accountable to the community.
Seventh, BESRA reforms are based on previous interventions that worked .
Derived from pilot projects such as the Third Elementary Education Project ( TEEP ), the Basic Education assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) and the Strengthening Implementation of Visayas Education ( STRIVE ) and other reform initiatives.
Eighth, the BESRA shifts the reform initiatives of the DepEd from project approach to a more organic approach.
Finally, the BESRA reforms are truly
positive because BESRA is DepEd’s
reform initiative. It is not imposed by
an external agency, or some foreign-
assisted project. In developing the
specific components of BESRA, the DepEd
offices responsible undertook a most
extensive consultation with a wide range of
stakeholders within the Dep.ed and among the
various stakeholders of the Philippine Basic Education Sector.
Dep.Ed’s Achievements BESRA focusing SBM
( SBM is the lynchpin of BESRA)
Lynchpin—means the one that serves to hold together parts or elements that exist or function as a unit.
The adoption and Roll-Down of the School- Based Management (SBM)
Framework and Standards for implementation of a comprehensive SBM at the regional, division and school level of all schools in the Philippines .
The release of SBM grants in support of activities that enhance learning, the drilling of down of the MOOE to schools to cash and related policies in support of the school’s financial accountability for the MOOE are also notable.
There is evidence of general awareness of SBM, with 80% - 90% of schools and school heads having been oriented to its practices have 5-year School Improvement Plans and have begun to mobilize stakeholders’ support or organized School Governing Councils with representatives from various sectors in the community.
School – Based Management ( SBM ) is a key component of the DepEd’s Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda ( BESRA ) which is a widely- accepted reform initiative which recognizes that schools as they are the key providers of education, should be able to continuously improve by being empowered to make informed and localized decisions based on their own unique needs.
The school heads and teachers are given the chance to create linkages with the local government and the private sector, which can help improve local schools .
The underlying principle in SBM under BESRA is that the people directly involved and affected by the school operations are the best persons to plan, manage and improve the school. So the people involve must work hand in hand to reach the goal to bring about positive change in the form of governance and management of the school to effect improvement in the quality of education for the students. So, it is therefore very important to create an environment where all the people involved in the process NOT ONLY AGREE BUT ALSO COMMIT TO MAKE THAT CHANGE HAPPEN.
Airene O. Suan
What is the governance framework of School-Based Management?
The Government has amended the education Ordinance to implement in schools a participatory governance framework with transparency and accountability. The Ordinance, which came into force on January 1, 2005, gives legal backing to the SBM governance framework. It provides for the establishment of an Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) and sets out its composition, operation, functions and powers so that stakeholders can participate in school governance according to the law. The direct participation of these key stakeholders in school decision-making will enhance the transparency and accountability of school governance, and the key stakeholders should work together to set common goals and strengthen their partnership to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning of the school.