Continuous Improvement – Responding to the Changing Times

November 9, 2015

By: Ameelyn Coca

The Department of Education in partnership with Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) conducted a Nationwide Training on Basic Continuous Improvement (CI) Program from November 9-13, 2015. This is participated by the dynamic education program supervisors and staff from different divisions and regional offices of Region VI, VII and VIII at Hotel Fortuna, Borromeo St., Cebu City, Cebu.

Continuous Improvement (CI) is a methodology which continually assesses, analyzes and acts on the improvement of key processes focusing on both the customer needs and the desired performance that enliven DepEd’s commitment to build a culture of continuous learning and improvement. It is in this line that CI’s context is integrated in the learning environment to better respond to the changing times and to mobilize the vision of shaping a culture that will have direct and relevant impact to the learners. The five-day training which jumpstarts the 7-month CI certification program was centered on reviewing the major changes and trends that impact the society and families, appreciating the changing contexts of Department of Education and the Filipino Learners, understanding the dynamics and requirements of change in order to respond effectively, evaluating preparedness and transition requirements for Continuous Improvement in the respective areas and the Continuous Improvement Methodologies.

On the first day, the CI Overview was discussed. To set the tone, the participants were tasked to pick a partner and make 5 physical changes for themselves in three rounds. On the third round, everyone froze when requested to again do 5 radical changes in them. Each one was contemplating what drastic change they can do and how far they can go to effect the said change. Initial resistance was very evident in every one’s faces since it is human nature to protect the status quo, to be more preferential on the stability and to have a sense of control over familiar situations. Despite some hesitations, everyone eventually made drastic changes of themselves to the point of having their ears wear their shoes. In the end, all gave in to the impending challenge of experiencing change.

The second day exemplified the spirit of teamwork and cooperation; the participants were divided into groups which form the CI Team. All Trainers, facilitators and coaches gave their best efforts to effectively convey the CI methodologies and came up with activities that would best apply the theories discussed. One noteworthy task done was the “Let’s make paper planes” workshop wherein the teams were tasked to make 30 paper planes with 3 designs (10 planes each) within 15 minutes. All were ecstatic to the thought of being taken back to their childhood days when all were carefree and lighthearted to fly paper planes while abandoning any difficulty that may come along the way.

The groups hastily made 30 paper planes, launched each plane but failed to land all to the landing area and worst was they were not able to measure the distance of each plane from the target area to the landing area within the allotted time. One group in particular only made 4 planes land at the landing area and measured its distance out of 30 in 15 minutes. The entire exercise appeared to be a demonstration of how things turn out without the captain of the ship, poor planning and undivided tasks. The participants subsequently came to a realization that intricate planning, identifying problem areas, pointing out solutions to problems areas and rolling out solutions prior to execution are the parameters on the success of project implementation.

The next days were a breeze. The thorough discussion of the CI methodologies gave the teams a spirit of eagerness to look into the processes of their respective divisions and be the game changers that DepEd envisions the participants to be. The training ended with the participants’ commitment signing, each signifying their pledge to advance the Department of Education’s vision of continuously improving itself to better serve its stakeholders through the CI methodologies and its CI projects. The 5-day training in CI definitely ended on a high note.