AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENTS IN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Teachers will soon benefit from a faster and more efficient information management system that will make long and tedious queues for records retrieval history. All their relevant information will be readily available through a fully-automated Human Resource Information System (HRIS), a brainchild of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Project and the Department of Education (DepEd).
The BEAM Project, a partnership of DepEd and the Australian Government through a A$36 million grant from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), aims to improve the quality of and access to basic education in Southern and Central Mindanao.
“This HRIS is the answer to DepEd’s pressing problems. It will make information readily available to the decision makers in our department,” said DepEd Undersecretary for Budget and Finance Teodosio Sangil, Jr. during the roundtable discussion and consultation on the HRIS model of DepEd Region XI.
The HRIS was initiated and supported by BEAM Regions XI, XII and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The system was designed to improve the efficiency of DepEd personnel and finance departments in generating and transmitting teacher information such as salaries, leave credits, employment status, increments and papers needed for loan applications to other organizational units. HRIS was piloted in Digos City Division and is now fully-operational in DepEd Region XI and parts of Region XII and the ARMM.
“Our records are now updated; processing time for transactions was significantly reduced. We were also able to cut down costs and slowly, problems and issues are being addressed. Payroll will now be prepared using the most up-to-date information,” said Virginia Alconcel, Budget and Finance Division Chief of DepEd XI.
The success of the HRIS in its Region XI division encouraged the DepEd Central Office officers and staff, headed by Usec. Sangil, to consider adapting the system nationwide. The HRIS will be fully implemented in Regions XII and ARMM in Mindanao and proposed to be trialed in National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions IV-A and B.
“BEAM is pleased to make a contribution to a significant area of the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). Teachers will now feel happier and committed that will result to a change in classroom interaction and improve the quality of learning,” explains Dr. Ian D’Arcy Walsh, BEAM Australian Project Director. BEAM will provide additional assistance to DepEd for additional functionality support of the HRIS.
Australia is recognized as the lead bilateral donor in education through the Philippines Development Forum and whose assistance to basic education is the largest in Mindanao and is now expanding in the Visayas. A high priority of the Australian Government’s aid to the Philippines, about 40% of the Australian aid budget for its 2007-2008 financial year has been earmarked for education programs. Education initiatives will be increased in the next two to three years to assist DepED's implementation of its basic education reform agenda and to enhance its on-going activities to improve access to schools and better teaching in Mindanao and the Visayas.