Growing up in San Antonio, Zambales, Sir Jessie had always dreamt of becoming an engineer. However, coming from a big family, his parents could not afford to send him to the city to pursue his dream hence, he settled to enroll in the only tertiary school in their locality at that time, the Ramon Magsaysay School of Arts and Trades (RAMSAT) nowadays it has evolved as the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University and took up Industrial Education, one of the two courses offered at that time, the other one being Industrial Technology.
Sir Jessie’s initial plan was to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer once he starts earning from his teaching profession. But not long after joining the academe, he realized that “once inside the academe, you can no longer leave it”. He says he did not just come to love it, but he “became addicted to teaching”.
Despite the odds in the teaching profession such as long hours and low pay to name a few, he still found teaching very challenging and fulfilling.
Displaying his amiable personality throughout the interview, his eyes sparkled when he talked about fulfillment in his job which comes from the success of his students.
Turning 56 come April 18, Mr. Jessie D. Ferrer, CESO V started his career as a classroom teacher on August 8, 1988 handling English, Science and Maths among grades 5 and 6 students at the Baretto 2 Elementary School in Olongapo City.
Through hard work, dedication, perseverance and diligence, to name a few of his traits, he rose from the ranks and became principal in two schools still in the Division of Olongapo prior to becoming Regional EPP/TLE Supervisor in Region 3, a position he held for 7 years. In 2006, he was assigned to Bataan for the first time as Assistant Schools Superintendent.
In 2009, he was assigned to the City of Balanga as Schools Division Superintendent, until 2012, after which he was again assigned as SDS of Olongapo City.
For the third time, Mr. Ferrer found himself traveling to the City of Balanga, all the way from San Marcelino, Zambales where he resides with his wife Michelle, Nurse-in-Charge of Olongapo City (DepEd) and their three children ages 14, 11 and 5, this time, as the new Schools Division Superintendent of Bataan.
During his courtesy call to Governor Albert S. Garcia at the Bulwagan ng Bayan, Mr. Ferrer said that he just received his marching orders from the governor himself-that is to improve the achievement level of the Division of Bataan in the National Achievement Test (NAT). He added that since the provincial government is supportive when it comes to education programs, one clear indication is the fact that the province of Bataan topped the Special Education Fund disbursement nationwide, it is but fitting that he delivers.
Asked as to how the division could improve its NAT achievement level, Mr. Ferrer said that in his meetings with all the subject area supervisors and district supervisors, they have come up with strategies on how to support the school principals in this endeavor.
They have identified the lowest 10% in NAT among the students and they are now in the process of validating reports from school principals which will become their basis in classifying the lowest 10% per subject area. From this, they will devise the appropriate intervention per classification.
It would be interesting to note that in their assessment, they found out that students have better listening skills or oral comprehension compared to reading comprehension which should be the other way around, and this is contributory to a low NAT achievement level. To address this, Mr. Ferrer said that they will expose students to reading longer texts adding that reading appreciation must be developed among students so as to encourage them to read more.
As a long term intervention, Mr. Ferrer said that teachers will make a progress chart of all students from Grades 1-7, where the skills and competencies of every student in all subject areas will be reflected. Another long term intervention is the conduct of Training Needs Assessment among teachers every October and during summer vacation.
Asked about the K-12 curriculum, he said that with the many existing industries and two Business Process Outsourcing that will soon operate in Bataan, there will be a large demand for workers. Hence there is a need to contextualize or localize our curriculum in order to match our graduates to the needs of the business sector.
Interviewing SDS Ferrer is one rare opportunity. We could have stayed longer and the discussion could have delved into myriad topics that every teacher would be engrossed and inspired, but this I can tell: behind his amiable personality is a dedicated no nonsense educator who is out to deliver.
Thank you Sir Jessie Ferrer for the time and cooperation and welcome to Bataan!