Mayor Abubakar Paglas is one of the education champions under the EdGE Program. He has steered the transformation of the LSB of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao. It’s very high 4.9 score in the latest assessment of performance in education governance is testament to it.
One of the innovative programs of Mayor Paglas is his Parenting Program with a different approach. The Mayor, the LSB, and the different Departments of the LGU visit the schools to conduct a workshop with parents. All stakeholders of the school including the SGC leaders and members are welcome to attend. This year, the LGU/LSB has already conducted the workshops in all the 28 public schools in Datu Paglas, including 3 high schools.
The different Departments of the LGU are included in the program so that they can talk about their ongoing programs to the parents. For instance, the Treasurer’s Office and the Assessor’s office explain the LGU’s tax campaign and enumerate the benefits that citizens get when they pay their taxes. The Health Office talks about nutrition and vaccination while the Barangay would discuss its programs for the community.
The Mayor believes that with this approach, the local government is able to hear directly the concerns of parents and address them at once. At the same time, the Mayor is able to encourage parents to look after the education of their children.
In one of the parenting workshops held at Tocao Madidis Central Elementary School, one of the concerns raised was increasing absenteeism among students. The students skip classes especially during the harvest season when they are told by the parents to work in the farms. To address the absenteeism problem, the Mayor said that the municipal government will issue an ordinance to prevent child labor.
Another problem is the lack of birth certificates among the school children. Most of the children in the community have no birth certificates. In order to resolve this, the Mayor immediately ordered the Municipal Local Civil Registrar to work with the principals and teachers of all schools and make sure that all are given birth certificates onsite.
Mayor Paglas encourages his partner mayors of the Southwestern Liguasan Alliance of Municipalities (SLAM), an alliance of 5 Maguindanao LGUs which are EdGE site, to replicate this best practice. Going directly to the people is a leadership strategy that Mayor Paglas has practiced well.