Re-Engineering SEF Allocation Toward Achieving Quality Basic Education
16 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018
Date Written: June 3, 2017
The Local Government Unit is considered a major partner of the national government in the delivery of educational services because LGU has access to financial resources that are earmarked for basic education, the Special Education Fund (SEF). Section 272 of RA 7160 provides that 1% tax on real property shall automatically be released to the SEF. This fund can be used to further improve learning outcomes through the implementation of programs and projects that are otherwise not supported by the general education fund of the Department. The National Achievement Test (NAT) is the sole yardstick that the Department of Education uses to determine the achievement levels of learners. This test is administered annually by the Department. In the past years, the average actual performances of learners in the NAT for all the subject areas are below the standard Mean Percentage Score of 75%. Per review made by the education sector revealed that the allocations are not maximized to carry out the designed educational programs and projects particularly in the SEF. The SEF delimits its allowable expenditures exclusively for operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and sports development. The objective of this paper is to propose spending mechanisms for the SEF which are anchored on the strategic directions that the education sector has deliberated. These strategies are geared toward improving the achievement levels of students and making the present educational system responsive to the demands of the Asean Integration, global competitiveness and 21st century education. There are four policy recommendations proposed namely: (1) Re-engineering SEF Allocation by including responsive programs and projects as deemed priority by the education sector, (2) Inclusion of identified educational programs in the general fund in the Local Government Unit, (3) Stakeholders’ participation and (4) Status quo. The criteria used were high impact, rapid implementation, collaborative and political feasibility. The re-engineering of Special Education Fund (SEF) allocation is the preferred policy option because it entails shared governance. Once adopted, the management planning, review and evaluation processes shall indicate improvement in the learning outcomes of students. The re-engineering process involves the active participation of the people, the education sector and the government. In shared governance as a mechanism of the reengineering process, principles were drawn which will make education a vehicle for enhancing participation in the provision of quality basic education. These principles namely progression, partnership and participation along with the identified strategies will create mechanisms that support more meaningful engagements and partnerships toward improving the achievement levels of learners.
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