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DepEd Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction

The Department of Education (DepEd), through the Office of Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, opens the submission of nominees to the 2020-2021 Secretary’s Award For Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction (SAFE CI). This second edition of the SAFE CI, which was initially launched through DM No. 002, s. 2020, will accept nominations from the regional offices until October 20, 2021.

The activity is anchored on the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE), DepEd Order (DO) No. 9, s. 2002 (Establishing the PRAISE in the DepEd), and DO No. 83, s. 2012 (Implementing Guidelines on the Revised School-Based Management (SBM) Framework, Assessment Process and Tool (APAT).

The activity aims to recognize and reward the exemplary contribution of the field and central offices (schools, schools division offices, regional offices, and CI bureaus/offices) in making authentic learning happen in the lives of public school learners. Moreover, this will appreciate the initiatives and innovations exerted by various offices in managing the delivery of instruction at this time of COVID-19 Pandejm|c. Hence, in accordance with DO No. 83, s. 2012, the RO, SDO, and schools with advanced focus on learning under the SAFE CI shall be recognized. Also, the compliance of the offices* initiatives to the guidelines and principles stated in the BE-LCP (DO 012, s. 2020) shall be observed and considered.

The award categories are as follows:

1Most Learning-Focused Public Elementary School
2Most Learning-Focused Public Junior High School
3Most Learning-Focused Public Senior High School
4Most Learning Focused Schools Division Office
5Most Learning-Focused Regional Office
6Most Effective Division CI Strand, Central Office


The head of the organizational unit winning the award shall be similarly recognized as outstanding principal, schools division superintendent (SDS), regional director (RD), and CO division chief/unit head.

The ROs shall submit one official nominee with an Advanced Level in the School-Based Management corresponding to each award category, while each CO Curriculum and Instruction Strand Bureau/Office shall nominate one division or unit.

The Search Guidelines and Nomination Form are provided in the enclosure.

The following schedule of activities and specified dates relative to the said search be followed:

October 20, 2021Deadline for submission of the nomination folder to CO.Late and incomplete documents (specified in the enclosure) will not be accepted.

PDF copies of the documents shall be submitted to make it easier for the committee to send e-copies to the reviewers.
October 25-31, 2021Stage 1

Screening and shortlisting period:

Evaluation of the nomination Write-up including required documents.

Shortlisting of nominees based on the set criteria for Stage 1.
Qualified nominees shall be notified through email.
November 08-19, 2021Stage 2

Onsite validation of qualified nominees from Stage 1.
Only top five shortlisted semifinalists in every category shall undergo the validation process. In case travel is restricted, on-site validation will be conducted via online platform (zoom or google meet).
November 19-29, 2021Stage 3

Panel interview of finalists after Stage 2.
The members of the screening committee are the Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, BHROD Directors, and Bureau Director of CI Strand. The specific members of the committee are identified in Section VII, p. 7 of the enclosure to this memorandum.Only the top three finalists in every category shall undergo the panel interview.
December 01-10, 2021Preparation, finalization, and conduct of PRAISE meetingsCO CI PRAISE Committee and Secretariat
January 7, 2022Awarding CeremonyVenue to be announced.

Note: The committee will strictly follow the scheduled dates.

Expenses relative to the conduct of the said activities shall be charged to local funds while expenses during the awarding ceremony such as food and venue, trophies, certificates, cash prize, and other incidental expenses shall be charged to CO-CI-GAS Funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

For more information, please contact Ms. Emily Agno-Mallari of the Office of Undersecretary of Curriculum and Instruction through mobile phone number 0917-526-4370, and through email ouci@deped.gov.ph with the subject CO CI PRAISE Secretariat.

Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.


Scope of the Program

The Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction (SAFE CI) is a DepEd rewards and recognition program on initiated by the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, which is anchored on the Civil Service Commission’s Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE). The program seeks to encourage creativity, innovativeness, integrity and productivity in public service. It also aims to showcase the best learning-focused and innovative practices among DepEd organizational units, officials and employees as well as the effective implementation of School-Based Management in every school.

A learning-focused, effective, and innovative organization (school, division office, regional office, and central office) utilizes exemplary practices anchored in the School-Based Management guidelines that improve learning and academic achievement, relies on data-driven decision making and provides frameworks and tools for organizing and designing effective teaching-learning activities.

Moreover, effective organizations provide additional time for productive planning on implementing learning-focused and innovative activities encourage collaboration among educational stakeholders, and evaluate the risk of every change made.

Categories of Award

Most Learning-Focused Public Elementary School

K to 3

Small School
Medium School
Large School
Very Large School

Grade 4-6

Medium School
Large School
Very Large School

Most Learning-Focused Public Junior High School

Grade 7-10

Small School
Medium School
Large School
Very Large School

Most Learning-Focused Public Senior High School

Grade 11-12

Small School
Medium School
Large School
Very Large School

The school typology is indicated in DO No. 19, s. 2016 as follows:

Type of Public SchoolNumber of Learners
SmallLess than 440
Very Large1,240 and above

Most Learning Focused ALS CLCs

Most Learning-Focused Schools Division Office

Most Learning-Focused Regional Office

Most Effective Division (Curriculum and Instruction strand, Central Office)

Criteria for Stage 1 Evaluation

1. Performance Rating (OPCRF) of the Head of Office15
2. Significant Accomplishment/s in Fostering Learning20
Project/Work Accomplished;5
Number of strategies/activities done that have significantly influenced/provided greater impact in the performance of the school, division office, regional office and central office (Bureau/Offices of CI strand)15
3. Impact of Accomplishments in making learning happen25
Replicability of the program/project/activity;5
Number of people, office benefited and transactions facilitated;10
Level of Attainment per identified
Performance Indicator (School Level, District Level, Division Level, Regional Level and International Level)
4. Innovations in Enhancing Learner’s Achievement30
Creative programs, projects, activities made in the last two years in connection to the award category and the extent to which it/they/is/are being used and the results, number of persons who benefited;10
Scope/replicability of the innovation5
Level of attainment per identified
Performance Indicator (School Level,
District Level, Division Level, Regional
Level and International Level)
5. Awards

Major awards/citations received by the
school/SDO/RO/CO Division/Unit. Major award or refers to the highest award or recognition received by the school, SDO, RO, and CO that gives greater impact in the organization.


For Key Stages 1 and 2, emphasis on Reading Literacy, Science Literacy, and Mathematical Literacy shall be considered in Criteria 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The nominee who obtained the HIGHEST TOTAL POINTS (Indicator 1-5) shall be recognized as the Most Learning-Focused (Elementary School – (K- Grade 3 and Grade 4-6), JHS (Grade 7-10), SHS (Grade 11-12), ALS, SDO, and RO).

Required Nomination Documents

Each nomination requires the submission of three original nomination folders containing the following fully accomplished documentary requirements:

  1. Completely Filled-out SAFE CI Form (Maximum of ten pages including Executive Summary and Nomination Write-Up).

Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction Forms:

Nomination Form;
Nomination Write-up;
Certification (School, SDOs, ROs, and CO)

  1. Certification from the Chairperson of the Regional PRAISE Committee or its equivalent that the nomination has undergone deliberation by the Committee.
  2. Certification from the Chairperson of the Regional PRAISE Committee or its equivalent that the nominee is at ‘Advanced’ level in the SBM for SY 2020.
  3. Letter from the head of office endorsing the nomination to the Central Office CI strand PRAISE Committee.
  4. Certification signed by the Administrative Officer V/IV (Personnel) that the head of school/ Schools Division Office/ Regional Office/ Bureau Division has obtained at least Veiy Satisfactory (VS) performance rating (OPCRF) for the last two years for the School, Schools Division Office, Regional Office and Bureau Division/unit.
  5. Certification of No Unliquidated Cash Advances and Disallowances for previous accountabilities as of December 31, 2020 to be secured by the HRMO from the Commission on Audit (COA) Resident Auditor, should be signed by the agency’s COA Resident Auditor and not the by the agency’s Financial Officer/Accountant, (for School, SDO, RO, and CO in the CI strand).
  6. In case of existing unliquidated cash advance and allowance, a certificate of the status of such financial obligation shall be issued by the COA Resident Auditor.

Each completely filled-up nomination form should be accompanied by a write-up using the Nomination Write-up form. The maximum allowable number of pages is ten (10) in an A4 size bond paper, using Bookman Old Style and 11 font size. The templates for requirements 1 to 5 are provided in this memorandum.

The nomination form and documentary requirements should be placed in legal size folder (ordinary white color). Hard-bound and creative covers are discouraged. Copies of annual reports, recommendations, and recognition should not be included in the nomination folder. Only required documents must be submitted. For easy reference, please use labels for every required documents.

Write-up of Accomplishments

The write-up must highlight outstanding accomplishment of the School, SDO, RO and CO nominees for the past two years. Presentation of accomplishments should be in order of significance complete with descriptions, justifications and should adhere to the following pointers: the School, SDO, RO and CO nominees for the past two years. Presentation of accomplishments should be in order of significance, complete with descriptions, and justifications, and should adhere to the following pointers:

Use specific terms. Define/clarify terms such as “assisted”, “contributed”, or “facilitated”.
State outstanding accomplishments and impact in brief, factual and in bullet form.
Present impact of accomplishments by indicating problems addressed people/office benefited and/or transactions facilitated.

The nomination write-up should only be for a maximum of ten pages A4 size bond paper, Bookman Old Style, 11 font size) to include the summary of accomplishments, impact and other information.

Procedure for Nomination

  1. ROs and CO CI strand Bureau/Office are expected to nominate their exemplars. Each RO and the CO CI strand Bureau/Office shall have one nominee in every awards category.
  2. The Regional Offices may adapt their own strategies for determining their nominees.

Procedure for Screening and Evaluation

Central Office through the CO CI strand PRAISE Committee shall create a SAFE CI Screening Committee composed of the following:

UndersecretaryDiosdado M. San Antonio
Assistant Secretary for CIAlma Ruby C. Torio
BHROD DirectorsAtty. Anne Rachel C. Miguel
Jennifer Lopez
Bureau/Office DirectorsJocelyn DR Andaya
Nelia V. Benito
Leila P. Areola
Runvi Manguerra
Atty. Ariz D. Cawilan
Raul La Rosa

The SAFE CI Screening Committee shall screen all nominations with complete documentary requirements and determine the correctness of the category vis-a-vis the accomplishment/s presented. It shall shortlist qualified nominees based on Sections III and V of the Guidelines. Only those who pass the Stage 1 evaluation shall be subjected to onsite validation. In case travel is restricted, validation will be conducted via online platform (Zoom or Google Meet).

The Panel Interview of the Finalists shall be conducted by the SAFE CI Screening Committee members.

Grounds for Disqualification of Nominations

  1. Non-compliance with the submission of complete documentary requirements and policies, including those pertaining to the deadline, size and number of folders, accuracy and completeness of information required in the nomination for a maximum number of pages for the accomplishment write-up, clearances and other required documents, shall render the nominee ineligible for the Search. Nominations with incomplete documents shall no longer be processed.
  2. Any misrepresentation made in any of the documents submitted shall be a ground for disqualification and for disciplinary action, pursuant to applicable CSC laws and rules.

Submission of Nomination

Nominations in the 2020-2021 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction (SAFE CI) must be submitted to the Central Office, attention: Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction (OUCI) not later than October 20, 2021.




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1 thought on “DepEd Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum and Instruction”

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