By Maria Gemima C. Valderrama
Yes, this is another year-ender story but more remarkable and rewarding.
The year started with a bang when the news of a new regional director (RD) to be assigned in the Department of Education (DepEd) Davao Region unfolded. RD Allan G. Farnazo came in as the new leader in the first week of February.
That time we were still struggling so hard with the Covid-19 virus. It was in the middle of the first school year without face-to-face classes. Most students adjust to the new learning modalities; the dominant one was modular learning.
While we were adjusting to the new normal, DepEd continued to give capacity-building webinars to teachers. School heads continued to innovate to ensure learning takes place.
It was a great challenge, but both the learners and teachers have survived. Somehow, they have adjusted to the new normal. The classes ended on July 10.
On September 13, the school year 2021-2022 started, and right after two months, the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes began. In Davao Region, eight schools welcomed back students for the face-to-face classes.
The impact of continuing education in the middle of the pandemic was not always broadcast in media but some of them were seen in Diri sa DepEd Onse, its very own online broadcast.
DepEd Davao Region made sure it will be very active in social media by strengthening its DepEd Region XI Facebook (FB) page. The posts were mostly stories of hope and resiliency of teachers, parents, and learners. So, from just more than 5K followers at the start of the year, the official FB page has now more than 120K followers at the end of the year.
It also featured schools every day called “School of the Day” so that people will know that the schools all over the region are always ready if the face-to-face classes will resume. One post alone had as high as 300K reach and 50K engagements.
Aside from that, another feature called Weekend Song was introduced to showcase the singing talents of learners, teachers, and DepEd personnel. The highest reach was 1.2 million for the I am a Teacher song rendition by Quadros Plus One, a band composed of DepEd personalities from Tagum City.
No wonder the statistics recorded in the Facebook analytics always show a seven-digit number signifying that the posts in one month can reach more than one million FB users.
The stories collected from the Communications Team across the 11 divisions – composed of 5 provinces and 6 cities of Davao Region – always leave a great impact on our readers and viewers.
Without a doubt, the Diri sa DepEd Onse episodes pulled the viewership up. People were excited to see new stories of hope, survival, initiatives, victories in this time of the pandemic. It formed a three o’clock habit every Friday among the viewers. When it’s 3:00 p.m. on a Friday, the melody of Diri sa DepEd Onse jingle rings like a bell.
Thanks to Digos City Division for creating a haunting tune of Diri sa DepEd Onse. It became so familiar that we can hear people humming the tune and singing some lines.
The top viewers of Diri sa DepEd Onse, aside from Regon XI, comprised an average of 15 percent coming from Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon. They must be viewing the episodes from DepEd Philippines, the official social media page of DepEd in the country. The Diri sa DepEd Onse is also seen live on that page through cross-posting.
Because of all these creativity and innovations, DepEd Davao Region topped mostly in the 2021 Information Leaders Awards, or known as ILAW 2021, the first-ever awarding ceremony given to the information officers for regional and divisional levels.
Region XI, with its Regional Office’s Public Affairs Unit, was declared champion for Most Outstanding in Social Media Management all over the country. One of its division offices, Mati City Division, also nailed first place in the same category for the division level.
It also garnered first place in Most Outstanding in Information Dissemination Broadcast Category in the division level courtesy of Davao Occidental Division. The regional level in this category landed in third place. Thanks to the good management of Diri sa DepEd Onse episodes produced by the regional office and all divisions in a given schedule.
Region XI also nailed the first-place award for Best Music Video Interpretation of Isang Pangarap song. Davao del Norte Division earned the award. So, four championship awards out of 11 were achieved by Davao Region.
This is a great way to end the year and start with another set of creativity and innovation in 2022. With the establishment of DepEd Region XI Broadcasting studio, more exciting broadcast activities will be introduced.
The hard work and team effort paid off, but all these achievements became more possible because of the support and motivation of RD Farnazo and Assistant RD Maria Ines C. Asuncion. Their influence spelled the difference.
Indeed, when we understand our goals, see the same direction, and act with our heart and mind, we will always do things right.