The Department of Education (DepED), as the biggest bureaucracy in the government, endeavors to take significant measures in addressing and responding to the challenges through a shared vision of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for all. Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones professed that, “As Secretary of the Department, I am now given a rare privilege to seek and work out solutions from the inside. I am setting out this declaration of vision and agenda through which path I would endeavor to lead the Department.” (Public Schools of the Future, 2019)
Supportive to the vision and agenda set forth by the Secretary, the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration led by USEC Alain Del B. Pascua laid out the aspirations of the Administration Strand of the Department for the Public Schools of the Future. Specifically, the Office of the Administrative Service headed by Director Robert M. Agustin recognizes the imperative role of the Administrative Services in all governance levels of the Department in realizing these aspirations and dreams.
The Office of the Undersecretary for Administration and Office of the Administrative Service conducted the 2nd NCPAS on September 10 to 14, 2019 at Manuel Resort, Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte. The national convergence of the employees and staff in the Administrative Services across all governance levels – Central Office (CO), Regional Offices (RO), and Schools Division Offices (SDOs) ensures to optimize their capacities in embracing the challenges, braving the hurdles, and bridging the gaps towards achieving the vision and agenda of the Department. Synergizing activities such as lecture-discussions, plenary, immersion, and fellowship activities were conducted – all aimed at unifying their collective spirit to work as One Team.
The Conference theme “Embracing Challenges, Braving the Hurdles, Bridging the Gaps” infuses the capacities of the Administrative Services in the CO, ROs, and SDOs as support system in fulfilling the aspirations of the Administration Strand aligned to the shared vision and 10-point Agenda of the Department. The activity is framed in three (3) important context: first, optimizing the capacities of the employees and staff in the Administrative Services across all governance levels to work cohesively in embracing the challenges; second, braving innovative solutions that address and respond to the hurdles beneficial to the Department; and third, synergizing a team of diversity to work in unity and harmony towards bridging the gaps.
In the Department, the Administrative Service plays a crucial part in realizing the aspirations of the Administration Strand for the Public Schools of the Future. The Administrative Service participates in governance, crafting policies, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of varied programs, projects and activities. Administrative Service performs wide scope of functions involving records, cash, property or asset, general services in all governance levels, personnel services in the case of ROs and SDOs, and ad hoc tasks. However, the Administrative Service is not exempted from experiencing the huge challenges and responsibilities in providing a supportive environment to the public schools. The limited access to reach out and provide support services to the last mile schools, non-responsive organizational structure, inadequate learning infrastructure, unreconciled policy gaps, insufficient facilities and technologies, limited opportunity for learning and development, among others, are some of the challenges embraced by the Administrative Services regardless of governance levels. The 2nd NCPAS serves as an intervening activity that sustains the collective capacities of the employees and staff in the Administrative Services across all governance levels in embracing, braving, and bridging such predicament.
Other than the aspirations of the Administration Strands, the Administrative Service supports the three (3) major strategies of the Department towards organizational effectiveness, such as: organizational alignment, quality management system, and school organizational structure review. Interfacing strategies between and among offices in the Department contributes in addressing and responding to the 21st century challenges and demands of times. Aiming for a better future, the Administrative Service aspires to institute strategic measures geared at realizing the grand goals of the Department.
Synergizing as One Team, Achievers in Unity
Synergizing as One Team, Achievers in Unity is the heart of the activity. Synergizing the capacities of the Administrative Services expands their range to: (1) achieve the aspirations, dreams and plans of the Administration Strand consistent to the shared vision and agenda of the Department; (2) build organizational effectiveness and supportive environment; and, (3) synergize partnerships and linkages across governance levels and stakeholders. Certainly, the Administrative Service enjoins to pitch into the vision and agenda of the Department through common aspirations and direction for the future of the public schools as One Team.
By: Jutchel L. Nayra, DPA
Administrative Officer V