The affair commenced on August 21, 2018 at the Oasis of Prayer in Lalaan II, Silang, Cavite, with the celebration of the Holy Mass, presided over by Fr. Alain Manalo, himself (Episcopal Vicar for Catholic Education, Superintendent of Diocesan Schools, PCSS Technical Consultant, CEAP-Region 4 Trustee) the facilitator of the Philippines Catholic School Standards Training. He came with Mr. Eric Bocalan, Principal of the St. Jude Parish School, and Mr. Gabriel Alina, Executive Assistant at the CEAP-Region 4. After the mass, at the plenary hall, Bro. John Dela Cruz, called on Fr. Carlos Guzman to deliver his welcome address, then, Bro. Christian Allan De Sagun was called on to read the Protocols on the Approval of the Association of the Rogationist Catholic Educational Communities in the Philippines (Protocol 59/18, dated May 12, 2018) and the Appointment of the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent and the Core Group (Protocol 111/18, dated August 13, 2018). A simple institutional roll call followed, before Fr. Manalo was introduced and took the floor for his presentation, which he admitted includes some inputs he already delivered on the previous training, particularly because many of the current participants are those he believed to be most in need of his talk. since they are in the schools’ top and middle management positions.
He explained that the PCSS shall soon have two versions, one for the Basic Education and another for Higher Education. He said that among the distinctive features of the PCSS are: it is based on Church documents and teachings on Catholic Education, it is collaborative, consultative, iterative and user-friendly (with rigor). The PCSS, therefore, is a unique document. It is not an accreditation instrument but a tool for self-improvement. It is for a collective reflection and discernment on where the school needs to be as it lives out its identity and mission. Fr. Manalo stressed that among the most significant attitude required for the success of the PCSS as a tool for self-assessment is honesty on the part of the institution using it.
The document, he elaborated, has 8 defining Characteristics (essential attributes that make a school Catholic, which are the foundation of Standards and Benchmarks that will evaluate school’s policies programs and services), 5 Domains (essential facets or areas of school operations), 15 Standards (expectations of excellence and effectiveness; ideal or ultimate outcome) and 62 Benchmarks (observable and measurable descriptors of the Standards) and 62 Rubrics (descriptors of the various levels of adherence to the benchmarks). All these he explained by citing actual experiences.
Fr. Manalo also enumerated the Phases of the PCSS Implementation, namely: Organization and Self-Awareness, Self-Assessment, PCSS-Based School Improvement Planning and Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation.
For the training proper, the participants were grouped into smaller study teams to practice the competencies in accomplishing the PCSS 8-Step Self-Assessment Process.
Fr. Carlos Guzman, the Assistant Superintendent of the ARCEC-P, presided over the concluding Mass on August 22, 2018.
Thanks to the efforts of Fr. Orville Cajigal, the Provincial Councilor on the Sector of Charity and Missions, for organizing the event for the educational institutions of the St. Matthew Province.