Regional Offices (ROs) have been established to support schools’ divisions to ensure equitable access to quality and relevant basic education. ROs provide support by developing informed and responsive policies and plans, managing effectively the localized curriculum and learning resources, assuring quality performance, providing appropriate and timely technical assistance to schools’ divisions, and sustaining effective education support services and partnership with stakeholders (Philippine Human Development Network Report 2008-09; Philippine Education for All 2015: Implementation and Challenges).
As one of the mandates, Technical Assistance (TA) is one of the key professional activities provided by the RO to the Schools Divisions, and cascaded by the Schools Division Offices to the Schools. TAs provide support and guidance among Schools Divisions in identifying problems and in finding the right solutions. Providing TAs are deemed necessary to ensure effective implementation of programs that would result in achieving high quality learning outcomes, in having impact on performance of human resources, and most of all, in providing the general welfare among the people in the organization and of the organization itself.
Also, the Department of Education Region XI (DepEd RO-XI) has organized the Regional Field Technical Assistance Composite Team (RFTACT) in response to R.A. No. 9155 encouraging the use of local initiatives for improving the quality of basic education. The team had been composed of leaders and members from the cross functional divisions (CLMD, QAD, PPRD, FTAD, ESSD, HRDD, Finance, Administration). The Schools Divisions had also created a counterpart which is called Division Field Technical Assistance Composite Team (DFTACT).
DepEd RO-XI has issued related Memoranda as sources of information for the RFTACT to be guided on dispensing its tasks and be responsive to the needs of the Schools Divisions, particularly on these offices and personnel: Record Sections, Functional Division,SGOD/CID, School Heads and Managers/Stakeholders.
One of the functional divisions, the Field Technical Assistance Division (FTAD), has been assigned to be the leading office handling the activities of RFTACT of Region XI. RFTACT has been tasked to monitor, to assess, and to evaluate the implementation of the different projects, activities, and programs (PAPs) among the different Schools Divisions. Further, RFTACT has been mandated to conduct in-depth engagements with the Schools Divisions, as well as other offices, to gain deeper appreciation of the situations, needs, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses among. And, to provide relevant, timely, and appropriate TA , there must have a coordination among RFTACT members from RO-XI cross Functional Divisions and the DFTACT.
However, RFTACT mobilization of RO-XI has been found to be challenging and complicated due to apparent lack of specific guidelines and to its existing practices. The initial study, using focus group discussions (FGD) and survey, had found out that there was an unequal access to its services and absence of proper and effective coordination between the RFTACT and the DFTACT. Due to lack of the needed coordination/collaboration mechanisms among concerned offices, there has been a failure in the facilitation of the needed TA. Thus, the FTAD, as the leading functional Division, has not fully been effective in providing essential TAs.
Also, in June 2017, an orientation conducted by FTAD had revealed doubts and confusions among the participants from the ROs on the contextualization of TA framework and the processes of the RFTACT to follow during monitoring and evaluation ( M&E) visits among the different SDOs.
Furthermore, the organized DFTACT in some Schools Divisions were not fully functional. Accordingly, the SDOs have waited for the operating mechanisms and guidelines that are supposed to be provided by RFTACT. The notion is that the DFTACTs are interdependent of the RFTACT.
With its current state, the RFTACT’s reorganization, clarification of its functions and operations must be given due attention and of highest priority. Hence, the Continuous Improvement (CI) Project Team of DepEd RO-XI has considered to subject the RFTACT for a CI Project.