Author Topic: RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE  (Read 5468 times)


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« on: November 27, 2009, 11:54:08 AM »
I had the opportunity to be with a panel interviewing candidates for the Group Study Exchange for the Netherlands, a popular Rotary International project sponsored by The Rotary Foundation--a vocational, cultural and fellowship opportunity that will foster peace, goodwill and international understanding-- last November 13, 2009. Among these young professional were three outstanding teachers and a medical doctor.

What struck me about the teachers was that being with the Dep Ed (one transferring from a higher pay position in a private institution in Manila and relocating in Bataan; another a young, energetic principal in Sta. Cruz, Zambales) and its myriad resource problems was not a hindrance to their performance and success as a teacher or an administrator. Creativity and innovation allowed them to go beyond those limitations, utilizing their resourcefulness and involving all the stakeholders in the community. They have touched and changed the lives of their students, their fellow teachers, and gone beyond them into the communities where they serve. Their personal stories are refreshing rays of light in the darkness that is the Dep Ed.

For the lone doctor, who also happens to be a nurse (she took up nursing during the mad diaspora of physicians to get out of the country to look for greener pastures), she abandoned her plans to leave and decided instead to stay in the country where she could serve better as a physician in her own specialty, choosing to serve in government because the poor patients gravitate to government hospitals.

What does this tell me? It's not always the money. It's the satisfaction of being able to render service in the best way one can, challenges notwithstanding. They believe that obstacles can be solved with a little bit more of ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking.

This kind of thinking by a few will hopefully ripple out to more teachers and students and end up as a tsunami of sizable proportion that will help institute changes in the educational system. I know there are many more out there who have made outstanding contributions to education in their own small ways. Their voices have not been heard nor noticed. They need to be recognized. Recognition of excellence has a way of stimulating the honoree to higher levels, improves self-esteem, affirms one's dedication to only the best, and serves as stimulus for others to strive for excellence, as well.

Our club has been doing that for the last 5 years. We are now into our 6th year honoring outstanding teachers in government high schools and elementary schools in the Baguio Division. To be among Baguio's Exemplary School Teachers (B.E.S.T.) is now a coveted distinction and honor. One of those who topped the high school category, Mr. Warren Ambat of the Baguio City National High School, was nationally honored as one of the Lingkod Bayan awardees about 2 years ago. This has served as a stimulus for change and excellence and has brought Baguio from several rungs below all the way up to 2nd place in overall ranking among Dep Ed schools in the country, according to the Dep Ed division. On another vein, it has also served as a basis for promotion among teachers. Some have become principals as a result.

Agreeing with Florlaca that reforms are much needed in academic research, high quality researches should be major criteria for promotion and recognition, not number of years of service. My little experience with B.E.S.T. has shown the need to upgrade the quality of research studies being performed. So-called researches/theses submitted for masteral or even doctorate levels leave much to be desired and are probably not scrutinized and evaluated very well by "qualified" educators. I fear the evaluators and advisers themselves suffer from the "good enough syndrome" that allows teachers to become "Masters" or "Doctors of Education" without true, rigorous academic research evaluation and quality researches. The enemy of the best is "good enough".

Quality research is done for the value and impact it can have in upgrading education--not as a mere formality in the pursuit of a title. The latter has no place in an environment of true reform. Academic excellence can and will stand on its own and goad others to be the best.

For the Dep Ed, there is nowhere to go but up.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 01:54:08 PM by tonybau »