Deped-NCR on its 8th year of ADR implementation

The National Capital Regional Unit of the Department of Education has been steadfast in enhancing the conflict resolution skills of School Heads and Division Officials. With Deped having the largest number of employees employed by government, the department experiences thousands of the grievances that remain unresolved where many reach the Office of the Ombudsman.

In 2012, the Deped issued Order No. 15 that notes the increasing number of these grievances as it put forth a policy framework for non-adversarial means of resolving cases that may be subject to mediation. The NCR Regional Office has taken the lead in ensuring that this order is implemented to bring the benefits of ADR to the schools.

Conflicts in schools have a big impact on the morale of employees which may affect the students. A large number of these conflicts involve principals and teachers. One particular case shared during class was a dispute between long-time best friends – a teacher who filed a case against her principal. “Magkaibigan kami noon pero ito ang nangyari. Inaanak ko pa ang anak niya.” (We were friends before but this happened. Her child is even my godchild.) The two have not spoken with each other for two years since the conflict happened. During the practical internship part of the ADR Training delivered by The CoRe Group, the parties had the opportunity to speak directly with each other under the facilitation of a fellow Deped Official. While waiting for the terms of their agreement is being drafted, the teacher shares “mas magaan ang pakiramdam ngayon.” (I feel lighter now.) This is simply one more example among thousands of stories where relationships were broken by conflict but brought together and made stronger by mediation.

To date, the CoRe Group has gone around many of the cities under the National Capital Region such as Manila, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Mandaluyong and Pasay. Among those trained under this program include School Heads, Administrative Officers, Guidance Counsellors and labor group officers. “I know that the lessons learned through The CoRe Group will not only be used for work but also for everyday life. What you imparted is a LIFE Skill,” shares an official who participated in a recent program. This is one of the reasons why organizations keep coming back to our trainings.  Apart from effectively reducing case dockets, they want to share the experiences in the course with others.

“This is the most excellent training ever!” shares another participant.