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Developing a Culture of Excellence

Junifen F. Gauuan, Ph.D.

Philippine education is currently torn by two opposing forces: the challenge of achieving globally competitive quality; and the challenge of keeping educational costs at a fraction of international standards. Some experts claim that it is possible to overcome either of the two challenges; but never both. Yet others believe that it is possible to design an educational system that hurdles both challenges; but if and only if the educational institution and its constituents develop a culture of excellence.Developing a culture of excellence requires unforgiving dedication, self-sacrifice, and unquenchable creativity. From a management point of view, it requires more than training, coaching and the issuance of official memoranda. For its desirable values cannot be taught; it can only be caught! It is best learned by performing work assignments and actually achieving educational outputs and outcomes using strategy-focused management plans and information systems. Some of the things we are doing in school that help us develop a culture of excellence while achieving globally competitive standards at a fraction of international cost standards are as follows:

  • Systematizing Syllabi We have started modularizing and  digitizing integrated and self-contained Syllabi which will also allow  individualized learning. These syllabi incorporate all the necessary  information for enriched individualized learning. It includes the Course  Number, Course Title, Dean\’ Information, Instructor’s Information,  General Objective, Topics, Enrichment Activities, References &  Educational Materials, Case Studies, Assessment Tools, Time Frames, Book  References, Grading Policy, and Required Papers.
  • Digitalization
    The syllabi modules, along with the e-learning  and multi-media materials they contain, are being produced and  distributed in digital formats to facilitate individual and group  learning in stand-alone, local area network and on-line computer  systems. In this connection, multi-media has been fully integrated in  the educational process of all academic levels. Complementing this is  the continuous acquisition of computers, software, and digital learning  resources.
  • Comprehensive Testing and Remediation We have developed a Computer-Aided Audit Review and Testing System  (CAARTS) software which we are using for course audits, review, tutorial  and testing activities of our students. CAARTS provides a very fast and  cost-effective method for comprehensively evaluating student  performance. It also allows individualized student assessment and  facilitates swift educational feedback and re-programming.

If the possibility of achieving excellence is perceived to be remote and unachievable, it will not be taken seriously by school administrators, faculty, and students. But if it can be shown that excellence is realizable, its norms and values can be created and imprinted in the educational culture.#Junifen F. Gauuan, Ph.D.

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