February 5, 2006

School head’s appointment questioned

A disgruntled high school teacher that vied for the school head position in Currimao, Ilocos Norte has sent a letter to the Department of Education (DepEd) regional office in San Fernando City, La Union, addressed to Dr. Vilma L. Labrador, DepEd regional director, seeking clarification on the department’s ruling on the appointing authority’s power and the extent of political intervention on the appointment of principal position.

The teacher, Norberto S. Galiza of Bacarra National Comprehensive High School, stated in his letter that when he joined the Principal’s Eligibility Test (PET) given by the DepEd regional office on June 2005, he ranked second among the five applicants that took part in the open-ranking test held at the division office in Ilocos Norte.

However Galiza was not selected for the vacant position as another applicant, Fabian Felix was appointed to the position since he was the personal choice of the Currimao mayor.

The applicants for the principal post went into a consultation dialogue with Currimao Mayor Rosario C. Go. The appointment to the position though is the function of the Ilocos Norte Schools Division Superintendent Araceli C. Pastor, who later appointed Felix to the vacant position.

In his letter, which was subscribed and sworn before a notary public, Galiza was seeking clarification on the influence of the local chief executive and the extent of the schools division superintendent’s discretionary power in appointing school principals.

“Is it true that the appointment of applicants to the principal position is dependent on the preference of the local chief executive?” Galiza asked in his letter.

Galiza furnished Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and DepEd Undersecretary Fe A. Hidalgo with his letter.

Meanwhile, Pastor, in an interview, explained that aside from the grant of appointment by the superintendent, it is also embodied in the DepEd ruling to allow all qualified applicants to seek consultation with the concerned local chief executive, noting that the DepEd is dependent on the local government unit where it is located.

The concerned official’s intervention on appointment of school heads is also one way of avoiding preference on the part of the appointing authority, Pastor added.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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