“Matuwid na Pamamahala Tungo sa ARMM na Masagana’t Mapayapa”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Annual Reform Report 2012 (1 of 5 parts)

OVERVIEW
Fiscal year 2012 was period of leap in the current administration's reform campaign in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, seeing the painstaking yet successful cleansing of the ARMM education department's undesirable elements including thousands of students, dozens of schools and teachers and a division school superintendent. It also posted considerable funds savings unprecedented in the 24-year old region.

President Aquino III in his 2011 State-Of-the-Nation Address enunciated initiatives to transform ARMM from the shackles of perceived corruption and mismanagement, citing cases of “ghost” teachers, students and even schools in the region as one reason in installing officers-in-charge led by Mujiv S. Hataman to fix the ills that purportedly made the region a “failed experiment” for autonomy.

Pursuing such Presidential mandate, then OIC-Governor Hataman organized in January 2012 the Oversight Reform Team (ORT) to map out and implement reform initiatives in the ARMM's Department of Education, naming his erstwhile Chief of Staff, lawyer Jamar Kulayan, as regional DepEd secretary.

The ORT thrust vis-à-vis the President's observation was crucial because the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the regional DepEd constitute about 80 percent of the total workforce of ARMM and entail more than 60% of the region's annual budget just for salaries and monthly operating expenses. Thus, fixing DepEd-ARMM is like solving more than half of the problems of the ARMM governance.

ORT technocrats harmonized the desire for stronger rule of law, merit system, performance and ethical accountability, transparency and efficiency in the regional education sector with the reality that changing behaviours and attitudes structured for decades would take a long process. They believed that critical interventions that can have strategic and long-term positive impacts must be introduced---reform initiatives calibrated to arrest the steady decline of the delivery of education services.
The Reform Agenda for DepEd-ARMM was subsequently formed with the slogan of “Matuwidnapamamahalatungosa ARMM namasagana'tmapayapa.” It focuses on five (5) Strategic Action Areas – Data Quality and Utilization, Personnel Reforms, Fiscal Reforms, Technology and Innovation and Organizational Development.

The ORT reconciles its tasks the component programs of the DepEd-National, the ARMM HELPS (Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance Synergy - a agship project of Governor Hataman), and other innovative programs and projects.
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1 - Two consultants are now full- time serving as Assistant Secretaries.

2 - The severity of the state of education in the ARMM for the past 22 years was reflected in our previous report (1st Quarter Report). This re-port attempts to show the Reform Agenda (RA) of DepEd-ARMM leadership but for the purpose of objectively presenting the RA’s, some relevant data and figures that have been reflected in the 1st Quarter Report may also appear in this report. 

3 - HELPS stands for Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance Synergy, the flagship project of OIC Regional Governor Hataman

DATA QUALITY AND UTILIZATION
There are many factors that motivate data tampering and manipulation. “Data customization” is usually done in reporting accomplishment, seeking solicitation, or in most cases to avail additional position classification, increase of MOOE and other resource allocation. This practice continues to persist because there are more incentives to manipulate data and no disincentives for the wrong practice.

The daunting practice for instance of fraudulently procuring pupils or students from other schools and the inclusion of their NAT exam results in the averaging of the regional assessment results greatly impacts in the accuracy of results and evaluation of the students or pupils. In our view, this had compromised the evaluation processes because it created the illusion of full participation, drags down cohort survival, and widens gaps between elementary and high school data.
While the E-BEIS (Electronic Basic Education Information System) is in place, the integrity of data is now in question. Key reform initiatives should therefore be instituted in these areas because improving data collection and controlling data tampering and manipulation are critical mechanisms for credible education statistics and performance indicators. To correct and eradicate the making-up of enormous input resource needs and misalignment of limited and critical resources, the Office of the Secretary had issued a moratorium order on creation of new schools, districts and divisions.

The issuance of Executive Order No. 19 by the ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman re-merging six (6) divisions into their old mother divisions is also among others aimed at improving data, narrowing artificial resource gap, more equitable allocation, and building-up accountability.
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4 - Regional Memorandum No. 76, moratorium on creation of new schools, district, and divisions

Management of Data Quality (EBEIS & LIS)

The strong advocacy of improving the quality of education data at the school, district and division levels in ARMM led to the 9.73% of decrease in elementary enrolment and 8.98% in secondary. The S.Y. 2011-2012, enrolment of 686,024 has decreased by 60,848 registering only 625,166 in the 2,198 elementary schools. And the 174,485 enrolment during the SY 2011-2012 in the 302 secondary schools has decreased by 14,381 making the official 2012-2013 enrolment 160,101.

Learner’s Information System (LIS)
The DepED-ARMM’s vision of expanding the Unique Learner’s Reference Number (LRN) has been seamlessly reinforced thru the implementation of the Learner’s Information System (LIS) by DepED Central Office, a much-wider, more extensive information system for learners, encom-passing both in and out-of-school children and youth. The LIS timeframe of implementation is until December 30, 2012. Today, 82% of students and pupils were already given assigned Unique Learner Reference Numbers.

3rd Party School Audit
DepEd-ARMM currently works with a monitoring team under the Office of the Regional Governor to validate alleged ghost enrollees, teachers and schools. To date, four (4) schools have been validated and closed.
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5 - Implementing MMA 286 and amending EO 001 and 003 series 2008, and providing for the remerging of the divisions covered

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"Matuwid na pamamahala tungo sa ARMM sa masagana't mapayapa"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful ARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju ARMM na sambu maka salamat"

Bahasa Sug - "Dan mabuntul tudju pa ARMM masambu iban mahatul"

Meranaw - "Mathitu a kandatu sa ARMM ko katagompiya go kalilintad"