It is again time for back to school which also marks another start of exercising our right to quality education. More than just a privilege, our right to quality education is realized in a quality school. What is quality education and when can we say that our school can be regarded as quality one?
According to Republic Act No. 9155, Sec.2, the state shall “protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality basic education and to make such education accessible to all by providing all Filipino children a free and compulsory education” in the elementary and high school level including the Alternative Learning System.
Quality education is defined in this section as the “appropriateness, relevance, and excellence of the education given to meet the needs and aspirations of an individual and society.”
The school is also defined as the heart of formal education system. It is where children learn. Schools shall have a single aim of providing the best possible education for all learners.
How then can we assess a quality teaching institution? As stated earlier under the definition of quality education, we look at the first criterion: appropriateness. The school is a place that provides learning experiences that are suited to the students. First, the in and out learning environment is safe and learner-friendly. In the recently concluded Brigada Eskwela, the spirit of bayanihan proved its ultimate purpose and capitalized on the value of collaborative efforts of the LGUs, NGOs, alumni, stakeholders, parents, teachers and administrators. In order to fit the demands of the 21st century education, DepEd continuously improves itself to better serve its stakeholders. In reality, not all educators are equipped with the 21st century teaching competencies but many are open to learning. A lot of educators also show initiative to innovating resources and find creative ways on how to reproduce these limited teaching and learning resources.
Second criterion is relevance. Today, the challenge of education is to prepare the learners on how to deal with the challenges of the continuously changing world. Learners should be equipped with the 21st century skills they need in order to solve problems and make decisions through application of higher level thinking skills.
Educators cannot give what they do not have to the learners that is why seminars, trainings and workshops are designed and conducted to meet these needs. Administrators also conduct regular monitoring and mentoring to attain mastery learning through relevant teaching.
And finally, the last criterion is excellence. Excellent teaching practices plus excellent teaching materials equals quality teaching. How about excellent learning? These are reflected in the learners’ outputs, accomplishments, and achievement ratings. Best practices of school and its performance ratings matter because these are major bases for a top performing school.
Therefore a school is rated as outstanding if: there are appropriate learning experiences made through updated and competitive teaching and learning resources; relevant 21st century skills are manifested by the educators and students; and excellence is evident through quality output and performance-based results rating of the school.
“The school is the book in which is written the future of the nations. Show us the schools of a people and we will tell what those people are.” – Dr. Jose P. Rizal. JOCELYN R. BUMANGHAT, Camp 6 Elementary School
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