BHROD Director Lopez: Helping develop DepEd’s human capital
When the World Bank—through its Philippines Economic Update in April 2019—cited the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) as one of the “key policy levers for the country’s human capital,” it was referring to more than 800,000 public school teachers who make up more than half of the country’s total number of civil servants. For Dr. Jennifer Lopez, Director III of the DepEd Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD), the key to translating this policy lever to significant results is by successfully embedding it in the human resource and related systems of the Department.
“When DepEd officially adopted the PPST as a policy in 2017, we celebrated the birth of one great education reform. This would however be meaningless if we fail to embed the PPST in the education system,” said Director Lopez, who was then a member of the technical working group (TWG) for the DepEd-RCTQ project on the development and validation of the PPST in 2014-2016.
Since moving to the BHROD in 2018, RCTQ has worked with Dr. Lopez in embedding the PPST in DepEd’s Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS), the DepEd-contextualized version of the Civil Service Commission-prescribed Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS). She was part of the development of the RPMS Manual for Teachers and School Heads.
“With our RPMS now anchored on the PPST, DepEd finally has a standardized process for ensuring that teachers focus their work efforts towards achieving the DepEd vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities,” said Dr. Lopez.
Also in 2018 until 2020, Dr. Lopez assisted RCTQ in the development and validation of professional standards for school heads and supervisors as a member of the project’s advisory board. The project aimed to complement the PPST through the standardization of competencies for school leaders who would ideally support teachers.
When this collaboration resulted in the issuance of DO 24, s. 2020 or the National Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for School Heads (PPSSH), and DO 25, s. 2020 or the National Adoption and Implementation of thePhilippine Professional Standards for Supervisors (PPSS), Dr. Lopez said teachers would be better supported and guided in their professional practice because their immediate leaders also have their own sets of standards to guide their work.
“The workloads of school heads and supervisors have increased over the years and many of them end up engaging more in administrative functions. The PPSSH and PPSS will help them focus also on their roles as school leaders that support teacher quality,” said the former Education Program Supervisor of DepEd Region IV-A.
As DepEd moves towards a competency-based HR system, Dr. Lopez and her team at the BHROD have been making use of the information gathered through the PPST-based RPMS in informing policies on teacher hiring and promotion, teacher professional development, and rewards and recognition with technical assistance from RCTQ. A similar embedding is expected to follow for school heads and supervisors with the issuance of the PPSSH and PPSS policies.
Dr. Lopez’s work of embedding the professional standards extends to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). In 2021, she was appointed as member of the Career Progression and Specialization Program – Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CPSP-CATS) Committee of Professional Teachers by the PRC.
“These three sets of standards are beginning to become the anchors for other upcoming education policies. The PPST will not only become the basis for policies in DepEd but also those in the PRC and even the Commission on Higher Education for pre-service teacher education, and soon, the strengthened Teacher Education Council (TEC),” she said.
“By operationalizing the PPST, PPSSH and the PPSS in other systems, we are making the policies create direct impact on the competencies and professional growth of our human capital at DepEd,” Dr. Lopez said.
Dr. Lopez’s work on and deep understanding of professional standards is backed by experience and a relevant academic training, having completed a PhD in Linguistics at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) with a dissertation on the Cognitions and Practices of Early Grade Teachers Across Career Stages (PPST embedding) on English Language Teaching.
Before joining the BHROD, she was already a recipient of several awards including the 2017 Civil Service Commission PAGASA Region IV-A, 2017 Gawad Bituin Most Significant Idea, 2017 DepEd CALABARZON Most Outstanding Woman, 2017 DepEd’s Loyalty Award, 2015 Lion’s Club International Leadership Excellence Award in Campus Journalism, 2010 SM Lucena’s Gawad Tanglaw Most Outstanding Teacher and 2009 DepEd Lucena’s Most Outstanding Teacher.
On 10 February 2022, Dr. Lopez was appointed to Rank IV as Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) by President Duterte as recommended by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB). (AYana/RCTQ)https://www.rctq.ph/?p=3468Feature