Technical Assistance: Its New Paradigm
The formulation of Rationalization (RAT) Plan by various government agencies was initiated by virtue of Executive Order No. 366 issued in October 2004.he implementation of RAT Plan has established the formation of eight (8) functional divisions at DepEd Regional Office. One of the functional divisions instituted is the Field Technical Assistance Division (FTAD). The goal of FTAD is to strengthen the schools divisions in managing the respective schools leading to the achievement of their performance outcomes with the end in view of providing relevant, timely and appropriate technical assistance to schools divisions through the coordination of all the units in the Regional Office. FTAD also provides enabling interventions and strategies to schools divisions to help them achieve their goals and targets. What is Technical Assistance (TA)? It is any form of professional help, guidance or support to be more effective in the performance of their functions. It is an active process with steps to follow; makes use of tools, via process consultation, requires specific skills and focuses on achieving set goals. It is also a journey, reminding the client of their prime responsibility and accountability as well respecting their capability and pace. The old concept of TA is Supervising, Monitoring, Evaluating, Directing and Instructing. However, in the new paradigm it is more on Coaching, Guiding and Empowering. Teaching the subject matter was the focus of the conventional way in monitoring, but now, all the aspects of Education Management, highlighting the Provision of Access, Quality and Relevance as well as the Provision and Improvement of Management Services are given importance. As accentuated in Republic Act 9155 which is the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001, “The State shall encourage local initiatives for improving the quality of basic education.” In this milieu, DepEd Caraga has organized the Regional Field Technical Assistance Composite Teams (RFTACTs), with team leaders and members coming from the cross functional divisions. The RFTACTs monitor the implementation of different programs and projects with corresponding monitoring tool crafted in assessing the implementation of specific program and project. Prior to the field monitoring visits, FTAD formulates a TA Plan stipulating all the activities and strategies to guide all the RFTACT members on their roles and responsibilities during and after the conduct of the monitoring together with the reports to be accomplished. It is expected that RFTACT members should be conversant with the different programs and projects and should go deeper in understanding the situations of the schools divisions, their needs, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses in order to provide appropriate and relevant technical assistance. Correspondingly, an exit conference will be done to inform the Schools Divisions Superintendents on the findings, observations as well as recommendations to improve the schools performance and help them achieve their goals and targets. In a nutshell, TA is provided to solve problems, improve performance and get results.
By: Carolina Magson-Niepes