Evaluating the District Supervisors Leadership Program
“This is how impactful SEAMEO INNOTECH is to me as it has influenced how I manage my national projects in the university.”
My first major engagement with SEAMEO INNOTECH was in 2011 when I led the impact evaluation of the District Supervisors Leadership (DSL) Program conducted jointly by the Department of Education (DepEd) and SEAMEO INNOTECH from May 2010 to January 2011. The program was conceived as a relevant educational development program to achieve Education for All (EFA) goals, which necessitates empowering the District Supervisors (DSs) as a potent human resource of the country.
To attain the objectives, INNOTECH prepared five interrelated and complementary modules: 1) Understanding the Roles and Functions of DS; 2) Managing the Self and Relationships; 3) Managing My Tasks: Instructional Supervision; 4) Bridging Leadership and Creating Connections; and 5) Managing Results and Ensuring Accountability through the District Education Plan (DEP). In each module, the DSs were provided opportunities to discover what they wanted to learn and to assess what they actually learned from a variety of participatory and reflective approaches delivered via blended learning. A major output of the program was the District-wide Education Plan which reflects how the DSs intend to engage the School Heads (SH), Alternative Learning System (ALS) program implementers, and partners within the district in continuing collaborative and professional development programs towards improved learning outcomes.
To gauge its effectiveness, INNOTECH commissioned the Philippine Normal University (PNU) to conduct an impact evaluation of the DSL program. It focused on capturing the personal and professional improvement of the DSs (short-scale impact) and their district (large-scale impact). The short-scale impact evaluation determined their perceived level of competency in performing their roles and functions and the significant changes in how they relate with those under their responsibility. The large-scale impact evaluation examined the district performance as a result of the implementation of the DEP required in the training.
District performance looked at the attainment of the desired learning outcomes in schools and learning centers as a result of their instructional leadership, coaching, and mentoring, the resources mobilized based on priority needs, and the academic partnerships they established with the district’s internal and external stakeholders. It also sought the innovative strategies used in the implementation of the plan including the challenges faced. The INNOTECH’s data gathering technique used an electronic survey that the DSs learned in the first batch wherein the country’s 17 regions had to accomplish online. There were also interviews and focus group discussions where we engaged face-to-face with the SHs, heads of local government units (LGUs), leaders of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), and Learning Mentors (LMs).
The data revealed a positive impact of the program to the DSs and their districts. There was a significant increase in their level of understanding, competence, and confidence in performing their roles and functions. Majority implemented at least 75% of their plans on instructional leadership, coaching, and mentoring, nearly half implemented their plan on resource mobilization, while some implemented the plan on strengthening their partnership with the PTA/LGUs/Non-government organizations and development organization partners.
The DSs were satisfied with the state of the learning outcomes, resource mobilization, and their relationship with internal and external stakeholders. The most significant personal change includes improved leadership styles and practices in how they relate with their Schools Division Superintendents, subordinates, and other stakeholders/partners in the district. In terms of professional development, it was their ability to craft development programs, improve students’ achievement levels, capacitate, collaborate and get support from internal and external stakeholders of the district. Their professional improvement was seen in their ability to innovate activities and implement varied techniques to address problems in performing their functions. They initiated efforts to increase literacy, reduce the number of non-readers, increase enrollment, improve the welfare of students/SHs/teachers, increase student performance, maintain zero dropout rates, spearhead fund-raising projects as well as disaster, waste management, and livelihood programs, renovate and upgrade facilities, and strengthen proper linkages, greater participation, and strong partnerships with and among stakeholders.
The results reveal that the DSL program was worth the investment as it had short- and long-term impact not only to the trained DSs but also to their entire district.
Leading this DSL program evaluation was my first national project. We were able to fulfill our commitment as the National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE) through the help of my colleagues in the university, plus the support of university officials led by our Former University President, Dr. Ester B. Ogena, and the assistance of our INNOTECH partners headed by Dr. Ramon Bacani with his team, Dr. Ethel Valenzuela and Dr. Sylvette T. Gunigundo.
The experience of managing this project paved the way for my leadership in managing other national and internationally-funded research projects at PNU. I was appointed as the Inaugural Director of the Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ), which has led the development of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST), a national project funded by the Australian Government managed by the University of New England (UNE) and PNU.
The DSL Program has also taught me how to manage training programs. At present, the college that I am heading is also responsible for conducting nationwide training of newly-hired teachers of DepEd who were also scholars of the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) under Republic Act No. 10612 known as “Fast Tracked S & T Scholarship Act of 2013.” This law requires PNU to lead the training program with its partners from the National Network of Normal Schools. Similar to the DSL Program, we also made our approach blended where we employed face-to-face and online trainings. We also embedded in the training design an evaluation of the program to inform the law of its effectiveness.
This is how impactful SEAMEO INNOTECH is to me as it has influenced how I manage my national projects in the university.