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PIA Press Release
2008/08/21

DepEd taps SEAMEO to upgrade school heads' competencies

Manila (21 August) -- To improve the quality and reach of education in the public school system, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus recently tapped Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH) to upgrade the competencies of school principals.

Lapus asked SEAMEO-INNOTECH to initially train some 1,600 school principals all over the country under the DepEd EXCELS-Excellence in School Leadership in Southeast Asia.

"By upgrading their competencies, we optimize the principal's leadership and management capabilities while updating them on the latest trends in curriculum and instruction," he said.

Lapus believes that the school principals are critical players in delivering quality basic education.

The combination of online classes, individual coaching through the Internet and face-to-face sessions will help maximize group and individual learning, while ensuring that the outputs are produced by the principals themselves.

Lapus said that some 1,200 principals have undergone four weeks of intensive online sessions where a flexible learning tutor guides them through different sessions. The principals can either have group interaction, one-on-one consultations with the flexible learning tutor, or do online forums among their peers.

On their own time, the principals read, download and study resource materials, and answer exercises and case studies. Among the learning resources for the principals are the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) materials and the Harvard Education Review online.

Dr. Erlinda Pefianco, SEAMEO-INNOTECH director, said one major requirement in the course is to put together a school improvement plan for their region. The partner TEI also grants 3 academic credits leading to a graduate degree in education.

"We are pleased that the DepEd leadership can see the potentials of the flexible learning system and appreciate the opportunities it offers for the future," she said.

Pefianco said the program has successfully demonstrated the system in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

She hopes to mainstream it in the Philippines.

"We are looking at DepEd and our partner TEIs to institutionalize the program. There are more than 40,000 schools all over the country and each principal could be trained through the system.. It will need some investment in hardware and operating systems, though," she said. (PNA) [top]

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