Department of Education: On decentralization vs. centralization

SIMPLY PUT, “Everything that increases the role of subordinates is decentralization and that decreases the role is centralization.

Centralization is a process where the concentration of decision making is in a few hands. The important decisions and actions at the lower level are subject to the approval of top management.

On the other hand, decentralization is a systematic delegation of authority at all levels of management and in all of the organization. Authority is retained to the top management concerning major decisions and framing policies that involve the whole organization. Rest of the authority may be delegated to the middle level and lower level of management.

Concerning whether or not most decisions should be made at the top level of an organization, I humbly believe that the prime consideration in the allocation of power to decide must be the nature, and not the quantity, of the decisions to be made. If the issues concern the totality of the department, then it’s just wise for the top management to have the final say. On the other hand, if the case involves a particular region, then low-level administrator assigned to that specific area, being more exposed and attached to the situations in that particular area, is in a better place to decide the matter.

The creation of Dep.Ed. regional offices, I believe, has improved the administration and supervision of our school system. These regional offices have helped in rendering better services, for through them, the Department of Education has been able to address the problems in rural areas more closely and thoroughly. Having closer contacts with their area of responsibility, regional offices have better insights on the educational needs of the people in their region. With these regional offices therfore, Dep.Ed's support and supervision becomes ‘better-tuned’ and more accessible to people. School systems and programs are also better monitored, not to mention the faster decision making and being less bureaucratic.

Internally, administrators in the lower ranks are better motivated and tend to get higher morale since they possess more independence to act and decide. Furthermore, decentralization frees the Chief Executive from many burdens, thereby allowing him to focus on concerns of extensive and large-scale nature.


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