educ summit“The youth is the hope of the nation,” but how can he be one if not properly educated, skilled and geared into fulfilling what has been envisioned by our foreleaders?

Giving great significance to the development of our future leaders, Dalaguete, through the efforts of a goal-driven, vision-oriented and transformative leader, Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante with his dedicated Municipal Education Board, held its First Ever Education Summit at the Dalaguete Sports and Cultural Complex last February 17, 2015. Participants were Barangay Captains, Brgy. Kagawad Chairmen on Education, Principals/School Heads, PTA Presidents, Municipal Education Office Personnel, Local School Board, and Civil Society Organization.

The event started with an exercise facilitated by Dr. Milwida Guevara herself, Synergeia CEO. She asked the participants to go around and find their age group and to get to know everyone in the group. Then she asked them to group themselves according to the color they were wearing, hair style, status, fours, eights, tens. She got everyone’s participation and cooperation which is vital in the success of this endeavour.

The program highlighting the event started with a prayer, Five Loaves and Two Fishes, which made everyone look deeper and ask themselves what their “Five Loaves and Two Fishes” are that they can share for the benefit of all, as “No gift is too small”.

Participants were then introduced. Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante, Vice Mayor Jeffrey Belcina, SB Members, MGD Department heads were acknowledged as well as distinguished guests and partners from Synergeia headed by its CEO Dr. Milwida Guevara, Operations Officer Ms. Annie De Leon, Program Officers Dr. Ernesto Malvas and Mr. Edwin Nacionales, Project Coordinator for Cebu Ms. Vicky Armilla, and DepEd Regional Office Abot Alam Coordinator Luz Jandayan.

Mr. Leo Carlo Casinillo, Head of the Municipal Programs on Education, welcomed everyone in this gathering of goal oriented people veered into achieving better number of students who will finish elementary by establishing a strong partnership with people sharing the same ideals. He said, “Education is life and teaching becomes a vocation when one grows into appreciating how one’s involvement in the education process impacts society at an individual, social and historical level, and embraces the responsibility of such an impact as a lifelong commitment.” He cited these challenges being faced today: How can schools be cultural spaces against ecological degradation, polarization between the rich and the poor and gender insensitivity? How can schools be places of human creativity and imagination to respond to challenges of our times?

Ms. Vicky Armilla, Synergeia Project Coordinator for Cebu, welcomed everyone to a conversation as to the objectives of the activity. Four things were being looked deeper into: the state of basic education in Dalaguete as to children’s participation, survival and performance; the existing and other resources and partnerships that can be tapped to ensure quality education; the issues and concerns related to children’s attendance and performance in school and in providing quality education to children; and the development of an agenda for action to address identified priority education issues and concerns. “What can we do for our children to learn better?” The idea is to connect with people who share the same goals and visions.

Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante spoke on the municipal state of education and the initiatives of the Municial School Board from kinder to 4th year High School. For the 2 districts, Dalaguete has a total of 42 public elementary schools, 20 for district 1 and 22 for district 2. Out of 10 pupils, 9 were able to finish Grade 6 in District 1 and 5 in District 2. Out of 10 who enrolled in Grade 1 only 9 finished Grade 6 in District 1 and only 5 in District 2. These lead to ask why there are pupils who were not able to finish Grade 6. What can we do for these students…

Through the years, the municipality has been working on making education accessible to allow young ones to finish school to stop the vicious cycle of poverty and most especially for the future of the municipality. He aims for the future leaders to be better because of the education the administration provides.

Past initiatives of the Municipal School Board (MSB) were: hiring of locally paid teachers, opening of extension schools in the mountain barangays, purchasing of various sports equipment and musical instruments.

Aiming to do more they did not stop at that for there are still ongoing initiatives:


· Construction and repair of school buildings

· Improvement of school facilities (wash areas, stage, septic tanks, perimeter fencing)


· Support to the Dalaguete Alternative Learning System

· Provision of transportation means to teacher seminars, trainings, etc


· Municipal scholarship program

· Provision of school supplies to SILAW sa Paglaum members

· Support for athletes’ training and participation to various athletic meets

· Support to Scouting programs and other co- and extra- curricular activities


· Gulayan sa Paaralan

Accomplishments worth noting were:


1. Construction of 2-room temporary school structure in Amonsao (Php92,001.50)

2. Construction of 1 temporary classroom in Libo

3. Construction of two-storey, eight classroom building at the Dalaguete National High School (Php5,171,871.37)

4. Construction of two school buildings at the Dalaguete Central Elementary School (Php2,000,000.00)

5. Refurbishing of Salug Elementary School (Php36,464.00)

6. Repair of Panaguikan Elementary School (Php11,445.70)

7. Repair of school stage in Sampig, Mantalongon (Php63,060.00)


1. Hiring of 91 locally paid teachers for SY 2012-2013 (Salary for Jan.-March, 2014)

2. Hiring of 37 teachers through job orders for SY 2013-2014


1. Providing SILAW members with school supplies and mandatory contributions (Php468,844.00)

2. Providing HS with career guidance facility in coordination with PESO (Php150,510.00)

3. Supporting schools in logistics for athlete training (Php80,000.00)

4. Holding of a Physics Science camp (Php92,511.75)

Total education expenditures for 2013-2014 reached a total of Php13,771,415.49. However large the amount reached though, there are still children who were not able to finish Grade 6. Things to be improved and provided include: Teachers’ instructional approach, school management and instructional leadership, development of effective instructional and learning materials, learning facilities like libraries and laboratories. In barangays, organization of barangay school boards, establishment of school governing councils, active involvement of PTAs and more effective parenthood, need to be focused and worked on.

The municipality is hopeful that the program with Synergeia will specifically improve governance in education. With everyone’s assistance, understanding, patience, and help, goals are hoped to be achieved.

Dr. Milwida Guevara when called to talk about the Synergeia story asked everyone to stand and sing a song with her that is the Synergeia theme song “Ako ay Masaya Kung Kapiling Ka”. That is actually what they are about, what they do is that they engage local governments, socio-civic groups, teachers, parents, and students to work together in upgrading basic education.

Workshops facilitated by Synergeia helped discover participants’ dream for their children, the factors that can help the children learn better and complete Grade six, and the things that can be done together to make the children learn better. They dreamed for their children to finish college and become productive professionals laden with good values. To achieve this they will monitor and guide their children to perform better in school. The things agreed to be done together to make children learn better are to provide good nutrition to children through a school feeding program and supplemented by Gulayan sa Paaralan, and to collaborate with each other in all activities being agreed upon on.

Participants were also asked to list down their Agreed Priority Listing of Activities and Projects for SY 2015-2016. These activities and projects were to be to accomplished by the participants in partnership with the municipal government and Synergeia Foundation. The top on the list are: whole year sustainable feeding program to elementary pupils, training program for responsible parenthood/Family Development Session (FDS), purchase of instructional materials ( references, dictionaries, workbooks), repair of classrooms and other school facilities.

In addition to that Synergeia pledged to provide playground equipment worth Php50,000.00 and five laptop computers to schools.

With all of these underway, there’s no way but up for our municipal education to progress and improve, provided though that everyone will do their part with passion, integrity, enthusiasm and dedication. Then it will be a clearer future for our municipality if not our nation.

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