This chapter argues that the Philippine education system is besieged by crippling challenges typified by increased drop-out and out of school youth, high student-pupil ratio, teacher shortage, lack of resources, relatively low teachers’ salary, a dysfunctional bureaucracy and systemic corruption. To address these lingering issues, fragmented waves of education reform initiatives have been promulgated. One particular stakeholder in the education system—school leaders—find themselves wedged by systemic challenges on the one hand and disparate reform efforts on the other. The implementation of Republic Act 9155 (RA 9155) “Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001” also known as the Principal Empowerment Act manifests the dilemma of school leaders as they find themselves in fundamental disjunctures between the continuity of crises and the promise of change.
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The Leaders and Educators in Asia Program (LEAP) was an example of how an international non-government organisation—represented by Singapore’s Temasek Foundation—a world-class institute of higher learning—represented by the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore and a Philippine-based foundation—the Ateneo Centre for Educational Development (ACED) worked collaboratively to pursue education reform. Started in 2008, the three-year project attempted to make an impact in improving education in the Philippines. For more information see Reyes, (2016). Mapping the Terrain of Education Reform: Global Trends and Local Responses. New York: Routledge.
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First class municipalities are those that earn Ps 400 million pesos ($SGD 115 million) or more annually.
Super typhoon codenamed Yolanda (International designation “Haiyan”) struck the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines in November 2013 causing catastrophic damage. The devastating tropical cyclone is the strongest ever typhoon to have hit landfall in the entire recorded history of mankind.
In order to honour the confidence of those persons who were interviewed in the course of this inquiry, their names, and complete job designations are omitted here. Pseudonyms are provided.
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Tiempo negro is a Spanish phrase that literally mean black time.
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Chua, V.R. (2019). School Leaders in the Midst of Reforms: Crisis and Catharsis in the Philippine Education System. In: Hairon, S., Goh, J. (eds) Perspectives on School Leadership in Asia Pacific Contexts. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-32-9160-7_8
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