The Final Act: The “Dapat Lang” Phenomenon

13 March 2024

The Final ACT: The “ Dapat Lang” Phenomenon

The Proof of Concept (POC) initiative, with the Province of Iloilo as the lead actor in the devolution of basic education to LGUs, hit the ground running in three noble ACTs enabled by Synergeia’s Kickstarter training workshops for the main performers- LSBs, principals and teachers. The core objectives of these workshops are to find out what issues and challenges do we face and what should be done to obtain our bottom line of having all Grade 3 students read during the School Year 2024-2025.

In his remarks at the opening of the workshops, Governor Toto Defensor provoked his education champions and advocates of his expectations about the POC initiative, emphasizing that it is not appropriate to claim as an outstanding achievement the 100% success rate in having all their Grade 3 pupils read.

“Dapat lang”. That was the Governor’s shout-out to all who want to make a big difference in education in Iloilo. It resonated with such clarity as THE normal standard for its reading program and as an ordinary “business as usual” outcome of any intervention.   For the Governor, to have everyone able to read is not a matter of chance or choice. It should be done. Non-negotiable. No compromises. There is a need to formulate higher and better benchmarks for reading and overall literacy.

From a leadership perspective, “Dapat lang” mirrors a strategy to drive change in a more purposive and focused way where the education players are motivated to push their limitations and to gain more confidence to learn and relearn as they become triggered by the seriousness of the reading crisis and its impact on the Province’s and the country’s economic and social transformation.

The POC initiative is a massive deal maker for Iloilo and the rest of the  LGUs should the “Dapat Lang” phenomenon breaks its spell through the mindset and behavior of our local chiefs, the LSBs, the principals and the teachers to remind us that to be extraordinary and exemplary, we all must be doing our jobs really well, helping ourselves and each other, setting the highest standards for ourselves and our students and creating new frontiers for quality learning and education.

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