An open letter to Bro. Armin Luistro, Secretary of the Department of Education
HON. BRO. ARMIN A. LUISTRO, FSC
Secretary of Education
2/F Department of Education Building, DepEd, Meralco Avenue
Pasig City, Metro Manila
Dear Secretary Luistro,
Greetings from all of us in the Group of 140, a collective name we assign to ourselves. We hope this letter finds you in good condition.
As you are aware, the results of the National Qualifying Examination for School Heads (NQESH, or the Principals’ Test) were recently released. We were happy that we passed the hurdle rate of 140 points, but not happy enough because we are not qualified to be in the pool of candidates for principals, according to the second criterion of 68% cut-off score in all domains.
We were greatly surprised to know of such criterion because we were not informed of the same before we took the exam. We are not aware of any communication or material notifying us in advance of the major changes that will be applied in the computation of our scores and the determination of passers. We trusted that neither DepEd nor the National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP) will abruptly implement any rule that will impact the candidates unfairly.
Honorable Secretary, the first time that we knew of these major changes to the NQESH was when we read Department Memorandum 11 dated January 21, 2016, which was the same date that we were informed of the results and-we wish to stress-three months after we took the exam. The NEAP gave no indication at all, in all its announcements about the exam including its two postponements, that it was planning to effect major changes in the guidelines it has been implementing since 2009. Needless to say, all examinees relied on NEAP to use these old guidelines (Percentile 90 computation, without particular regard to the separate domains).
We likewise convey to the Honorable Secretary of the situation made even more critical after the 2015 NQESH. Despite the fact that there are many who could be considered as qualified to serve as principals, there is a shortage of principals in our public schools – a dire condition “addressed” by the designation of Teachers-in-Charge, who are made to serve the functions of Principals yet receive only the salary of their current items (Head Teachers, Teachers III, etcs.). Many of us in the Group of 140 speak from experience when we say that this so-called solution is unjust and disadvantageous not only to us as education professionals but also to the entire public school system. After the release of the NQESH results, we are faced with many divisions with just one or a few passers each; entire regions have only a handful of passers who could be appointed as principals for their many schools (ARMM has only six passers).
With this, we appeal to you to consider only the cut-off score of 140. We believe that this will not yield any disadvantage to the education system. Rather, this move is reasonable and equitable decision that will enlarge the pool of principal-candidates from which the DepEd can choose. This assures you that we are equally capable and dedicated educators and will persevere to bring out students to greater heights.
We sincerely believe in your prudent and fair understanding of our plight. We hope for your favourable consideration.
Group of 140
As part of our plea, we are reaching out to the concerned educators to help us in raising fund to cover the attorney’s fee. With your financial aid we can make greater changes for the betterment of the educational system. To anyone who would like to be part of this, please make your donations or set up sponsorship pledge by contacting this number: 09438208240. Thank you and God bless!
April 17, 2016 Update:
To all Principal’s Test takers 2015, within this week, we are going to file our case. Please continue supporting us. Thank you!
May 19, 2016 Update:
Tentative date of our hearing with regards to our petition in the Principal’s Test results will be on May 27, 2016, Come and let us join in witnessing the historical battle for change.
May 24, 2016 Update:
Informing everyone that our first hearing regarding our petition against DepEd is set on May 27, 2016, Friday 1:30 Pm at RTC Pasig, we are requesting those concerned to please attend and witness the historical journey for change in our beloved institution.We are asking for your financial support, we cannot continue this battle without your help…Thank you