First Contact with Dona Josefa E. Marcos Elem School

OSSFFI, through its president Bing del Rosario, recently completed a “consulting” project for Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos Elementary School (DJEMES). Contacted by former Bagumbayan Elementary School master teacher Grace Pelagio, Bing del Rosario met incoming new principal Jocelyn Lopez, who expressed serious concern about the gradually dwindling enrolment, currently at 1,600 students, and what she suspected as “defections” to nearby public elementary schools like Camarilla and Emilio Aguinaldo. Mrs. Lopez also thought she needed confirmation in terms of priorities and programs and what issues the “real” decision-makers, i.e., the parents, considered important in deciding whether to keep or pull out their children from the school. So Bing del Rosario asked to meet a representative group of both friendly and not-so-friendly parents last February 13, 2015. 20 parents came and Bing organized it as a focus group discussion, with guide questions and with every mother in the room (there was only one father in the entire group) encouraged to give her inputs. The meeting concluded after two hours of lively discussions and back-and-forth. A few days later, Bing submitted his insights, conclusions and recommendations. Mrs. Lopez discussed the report with her teachers and she reported that they had more confidently modified their future plans and programs based on Bing’s report.