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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, February 9, 2021 – DepEd Regional Office X was awarded the 2019-2020 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction (SAFE CI).

Together with the Regional Office (RO) as champion in the Most Learning-Focused Regional Office Category were Ozamiz City National High School as champion in the Most Learning-Focused Junior High School Category and Bukidnon National High School as champion in the Most Learning-Focused Senior High School Category.

Also making it to the national level was Balogo Elementary School, led by Master Teacher Rex M. Sario and ES Head Delicia A. Jagus, as national finalist in the Most Learning-Focused Elementary School Category, with the Schools Division Office of Ozamiz City, under the leadership of Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Jean G. Veloso, CESO VI, as national qualifier in the Most Learning-Focused School Division Office Category.

The SAFE CI is a DepEd program on rewards and recognition initiated by the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction. Encouraging creativity, innovativeness, integrity, and productivity in public service, SEFE CI is aimed at showcasing the best learning-focused practices among DepEd organizational units, officials, and employees.

SAFE CI is anchored on the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) and DepEd Order (DO) No. 9, s. 2002 on Establishing the PRAISE in DepEd.

Out of the five categories, DepEd Region X made it in four categories and eventually notched three championship awards. Hence, the heads of these winning organizational units were also recognized accordingly: Dr. Arturo B. Bayocot, CESO III, as outstanding regional director; Dr. Susan S. Olana as outstanding SHS principal, and Ms. Lilibeth Y. Abamonga as outstanding JHS principal.

During his victory message at the Conference Hall of the Regional Office on February 8, Dr. Bayocot said that the RO’s winning was caused not necessarily by one person or office, but by the collective synergy of the entire RO Team.

“While I may have done well to defend our nomination during the final panel interview, as you may say it, it was really our collaboration that made us win, not to forget that all our evidences were in place,” he added.

Dr. Bayocot further said that while the Curriculum and Learning Division (CLMD) may be at the core of the Region’s preparations for the competition, the support of all other offices was evident and was, therefore, indispensable to the Region’s overall excellent performance.

“Nothing beats collaboration. While the word ‘interfacing’ seems overused, it was really this word that significantly contributed to our winning, and we hope to sustain it in all our endeavors, he concluded.

Prior to their winning the competitions, all DepEd Region X entries were provided with the necessary Technical Assistance (TA) from select officials of the Regional Office (RO).

For the Regional Office Proper (Champion): Chief Mala Epra B. Magnaong, Chief Allan L. Mansaladez, EPS Ray Butch D. Mahinay, and EPS Ramon G. Abrera Jr.

For Bukidnon National High School (Champion): EPS Neil A. Improgo, EPS Ray Butch D. Mahinay, ITO Elson C. Jamero, EPS Nick C. Pañares, and EPS Bienvenido U. Tagolimot Jr.

For Ozamiz City National High School (Champion): Chief Edith L. Ortega, EPS Angelina B. Buaron, and EPS Reynante Noel N. Pelagio.

For Balogo Elementary School (National Finalist): EPS Josephine L. Valledor, EPS Marino O. Dal, EPS Lita F. Base, and EPS Annalyn A. Salcedo.

For Division of Ozamiz City (National Qualifier): Chief Mala Epra B. Magnaong, Chief Allan L. Mansaladez, Chief Raymund S. Antolo, EPS Ana Belen S. Muring, and EPS Rosita P. Yburan.

After all the TA, all the nominees from the Region underwent the three stages, namely: Stage 1 for the Evaluation of the Nomination Write-up Including Required Documents and Short Listing of Nominees Based on the Set Criteria for Stage 1.

In this stage, all the nominees were evaluated according to the criteria, namely: Performance Rating (OPCRF) of the Head of Office (20 Points), Significant Accomplishment/s in Fostering Learning (20 Points), Impact of Accomplishments in Making Learning Happen (25 Points), Innovations in Enhancing Learners’ Achievement (25 Points), and Awards (10 Points).

After which, the nominees proceeded to Stage 2 for Onsite Validation of Qualified Nominees from Stage 1 and Stage 3 for the Panel Interview of Finalists after Stage 2.

Evaluating all the nominees were SAFE CI Screening Committee Members from the Central Office (CO), specifically those from the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD), Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPsEO), Teacher Education Council Secretariat (TECS), Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC), Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA), Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), and Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR).

The winning entry of the Regional Office was dubbed as NorMin ROYALE, which stands for the following:

Reengineering Programs and Projects

Overcoming Gaps and Challenges

Yielding Desired Learning Outcomes

Accelerating Effective Leadership and Synergy

Leveraging Technology for Effective Classroom Instruction

Engaging the Multisectoral Partners

SAFE CI made it clear that a learning-focused and effective organization (school, schools division office, regional office, and central office) utilizes exemplary practices that increase leaning and academic achievement, relies on data-driven decision making and provides frameworks and tools for organizing and designing effective teaching-learning activities.

Also, effective organizations provide additional time for productive planning on implementing learning-focused activities, encourage collaboration among stakeholders, and evaluate the risk of every change made.

Having satisfactorily met all these standards for excellence, DepEd Regional Office X, Bukidnon National High School, and Ozamiz City National High School were eventually declared national champions in the 2019-2020 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction (SAFE CI) during the virtual awarding ceremony on February 5. │ Ramon G. Abrera Jr.