School heads as ICT4Ed LRMDS chair

Our world is changing fast due to evolving technology. What we know today might become immaterial the next two to five years. Moreover, the trend of globalization through education creates pressure on us to shift from the practices of the “old school” to ensure that our education system is at par with international standards. Consequently, this changes the landscape of education which requires the leaders and teachers to adapt management and teaching style wherein learners imbibe competencies for life-long learning.

ict4edUnder the K to 12 Program, the teachers, learners and even administrators are expected to possess the 21st Century skills. In fact, during the Regional K to 12 Conference and Launching of REDP and DEDP at Xavier Estate, CDO, last March 2017, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stressed that, “By the time our learners graduate and start to work, the skills they learn will become irrelevant”. One of the reasons of this possibility is, “We are teaching our children the way we were taught but they are facing a different world.” This implies relevant education and pedagogical change.

In order to prepare our children, we need to change the way we educate them through modern technology which adheres to the diffusion of innovation theory. Education curriculum provide learning experiences that will help students connect with the world and understand the issues that our world faces. They should realize that the schools serve as a nerve centers, a place for teachers and students to connect with those around them and their community. Teachers shift their role from instructors to orchestrators of information, giving learners the ability to turn knowledge into wisdom, an exemplar of the so-called liberating type of education.

In the Division of Malaybalay City, aside from the number of schools which are recipient of the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP), major steps have been taken as captured in the Division Strategic Plan. Dr. Jutchel Nayra. Administrative Officer V, with the strong support of Edilberto L. Oplenaria, CESO VI, the Schools Division Superintendent, initiated a project requiring the school heads and ICT Coordinators to conceptualize and institutionalize the schools’ 3-year ICT4Ed Strategic Plan which capsulates ICT objectives, plans and activities designed to capacitate, develop interactive materials to improve delivery of instruction through ICT integration in teaching and learning process.

This ICT-based interactive materials developed by teachers were subjected to stringent quality assurance evaluation process to comply to international standards and intellectual property rights since these learning materials will eventually be made available for wide adoption. As an offshoot, it resulted to the development of Digital Library which can be accessed online and offline, a credit to the Division ICT officer, Paul Arias.

The 21st century education under the K to 12 Program entails ICT integration in education. This would be best intensified by school heads when they take the lead in the provision of ICT equipment and subscribing in a stable internet connectivity that will offer an avenue for the learners to capitalize and exploit the benefit from technology to maximize learning.

 Sustainability of this innovative ICT4ED project largely depends on the school head, being the chairman of the LRMDS. He must be computer literate, research oriented transformational leader who can model paradigm shift among the teachers who are indifferent towards technology. He needs to allocate funds for the establishment of functional eRoom from the school MOOE and other funds source through networking of stakeholders as well as sincerely implement all the plans laid out to ensure monitoring and evaluation of the progress and accomplishments. Not only that, they should be sensitive to identify and determine bottlenecks in the implementation to continually improve this ICT4Ed project and recommend the purchase of licensed software for Mass production and circulation of interactive materials.

This is an urgent call to all school heads, let us improve the quality of education not by chance, but through change through ICT4eD.

By: Evernold C. Berial, ESP II