In its effort to improve public elementary and secondary schools in DepEd Quezon, a Division Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Adjustment (DMEPA) Workshop cum K-12 Implementation Review was conducted by the division on July 17 to 21.

53 school districts attended the event which aimed to capacitate the SDO, CID and SGOD personnel in providing Technical Assistance (TA), present and evaluate the results of the 2nd quarterly District Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Adjustment (DsMEPA), benchmark practices in improving access to education, identify the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of various Programs, Projects and Activities (PPAs), and provide appropriate recommendations to address the gaps or variances.

The Schools Division Superintendent (SDS), Assistant Schools Division Superintendents (SDSs), CID and SGOD Chiefs, Education Program Supervisors (EPSs), Public Schools District Supervisors (PSDSs), and members of the Division Monitoring Team from both CID and SGOD participated in the five-day event.

The Congressional Districts were divided into two batches. The 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts were scheduled in July 17-18 while the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts were scheduled on July 19-20.

Corresponding on-site monitors were also present. For batch 1, the monitors were SGOD Chief Elizabeth De Villa, EPS Anicia Lorica, EPS Jee-Ann Borines, EPS Fernando Seño, EPS Lorna Walangsumbat, EPS Joseph Jarasa, EPS Walter Galarosa, SEPS Regina Marino, PSDS Maria Carla Caraan, and PO III Marbin Jeramil Fragata. While for batch 2, they were observed by EPS Celestina Alba, EPS Asuncion Ilao, EPS Luz Abusmas, EPS Angelina Castillo, EPS Joan Mauhay, EPS Marita Pionilla, SEPS Juanito Merle, SEPS Rebie Marciano, SEPS Raul Agaran, EP Specialist Carla Marie Carandang, EP Specialist Paul Clifford Marquez, EP Specialist Oscar Duma Jr., and PSDS Laarni Gloria.

Meanwhile, PSDSs presented the different districts data which focused on access in consideration of varied Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) per grade level like enrolment rate, gross enrolment ratio, and enrolment pattern. As specified in the mechanics of the 2nd Quarterly DsMEPA, they also reviewed the bottlenecks of all PPAs with the prime goal of “keeping all children in school,” leading to a more systematic analysis of the division PPAs, particularly in terms of enrolment.

The last day of the training-workshop was dedicated in showing the big picture of DepEd Quezon relative to access, as well as the vista of all school districts in order to come up with relevant insights on how the Division in general or the PSDSs in particular will provide technical assistance to schools needing it and make education accessible to all school-age children in their respective localities. It also aimed to summarize important observations in the preparation and presentation of reports for the 2nd Quarterly DsMEPA, and give recommendations to significantly improve in the succeeding quarters.

EP Specialist and Division Information Officer (DIO) Oscar Duma Jr., in partnership with SEPS for M&E Raul Agaran and in coordination with SDS Merthel Evardome, ASDS Nadine Celindro and ASDS Gerlie Ilagan, prepared the presentation based on the data collected from all on-site DepEd Quezon monitors.

Factors affecting access to education were identified as home-school distance, child labor, cut-off age in kindergarten, parents’ attitude towards schooling, teachers’ attitude towards students, job opportunities, migration, health, early marriage or teenage pregnancy, availability and/or accessibility of high schools, family planning campaign of LGU, and family problems.

SDS Evardome reminded the PSDSs, especially those offering Alternative Learning System (ALS) programs, of the necessity to gather actual data on Out-of-School Youth (OSY) in the district so that available information on enrolment can be meaningfully analyzed. She also underscored that the PPAs must be carefully planned and implemented with a clear program description including evaluation procedures and monitoring tools.

“Decreasing or fluctuating enrolment as reflected in the schools’ data would not necessarily mean that access is not provided. Rather, what is more important is that a district has devised methods or tracking system to find out where students proceed upon exit in a particular grade level or upon graduation,” SDS Evardome added, stressing that schools have to take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses, and the persistent opportunities and threats.

Through the presentation of Dr. Juanito Merle, SEPS for Planning and Research, the Division shared about the preparation of TA Plan so that the PSDSs would be able to address the immediate needs of their respective school districts. They were reminded of the framework that served as their guide throughout the process. In the end, DepEd Quezon was left with positive conviction to solve the challenge in keeping all children in school, the same call of the Division’s dictum: “Bawat Bata, Kinakalinga.” (Oscar R. Duma, Jr., EPS II, M&E)