The Board of Judges

Introduction

There are always celebrations during the school year like Independence Day in June, Nutrition Month in July, Buwan ng Wika in August, Christmas in December, Graduation Day in March. As the celebrations come one after the other, they are usually integrated into the different and/or related subject areas to the extent of celebrating them with a contest or program in the school. Some other celebrations are usually held in different ways like a contest in choral recitation, oration, folk dancing, art, slogan and others, of course taking into consideration the given theme of the celebrations during the school year.

The winner/s of the different competitions in different schools band together in the district to find who is the winner, the possible entry to compete again on the Congressional level and on to the Division level.

In competitions, there is always the Board of Judges. They are discussed here as competent persons but also a principled persons.

The Board of Judges

A. As Competent Persons

The word competent is applied to persons who exhibit more than average acquired or native skill in the performance of the job/task. They have the ability to carry out the task of ranking the competitions at the given place, at the given time. By implication, the completed task is one of giving the specified rating – that which is rated objectively as to which is rated the less, the lesser and the least, or the high, the higher and the highest in number rating; that which is the total rating summed up for each competitor; that which is the aggregate summation of total ratings by all the judges and is given each competitor; finally, that which is ranked at once in a manner that no egregious errors are made after one last final review.

The preceding manner or any manner that suggests an action in such a way to avoid waste or loss of time and emphasizes the actual and quick production of results will do provided that erroneous results can be avoided as to who the winner/s is/are.

Great care must be given not only in the judging but even in the procedures. When an egregious error is made, what a great disaster it is to the feelings of the pupil/competitor, the trainer/coach, the school and the supervisor whose school/district was adjudged and/or announced the first winner of the rank one. The physical, mental, social and emotional anguish of the person is not capable of description.

A week after the competition a formal letter was received addressed to the supervisor from (assigned) the Board of Judges, to wit:

“We regret to inform you that we are amending our decision at (the contest venue) in the (contest) category where (district name) and your district came out tie but we were not able to break it due to bad weather and time constraint.

“We therefore decided to let your contestant and (district name) to join the Division competition.”

The letter was written only a day before the Division competition and was received in the early part of the competition. Learning about the contents of the communication, the pupils/competitors felt uncertain body feelings as well as a feeling of depression. With the coach/trainer impressing on the pupils/competitors the characteristic of sportsmanship, of principle and not the prize, the pupils gained their composure and went on to join the competition.

However, the district which received the letter, felt that the decision to break the tie should have been done earlier and not have coincided with the Division competition. Other considerations are:

  1. That the division memo to every competition states that the decision of the Board of Judges is final.
  2. That bad weather and time constraint as alleged are not valid reasons.
  3. That the Board of Judges should have announced publicly that there was a tie between two districts.
  4. That the Board of Judges publicly announced that the district (which received the letter) was the number one in the Congressional competition.

This situation can be a lesson for the other coming competitions and for future Boards of Judges.

B. As Principled Persons

To be one of principle and a fixed deep sense of moral obligation are the basis for assignment as member of the Board of Judges. As one writer aptly remarked, “There is no brighter jewel in any man’s character than to be firmly established on principles of unyielding rectitude. They change not with times and circumstances. They are the same yesterday, today and forever.”

The firmness of principles is an expression of praise for the Board of Judges. Their chief or most powerful motive is rectitude, their integrity and procedures, their quality of being straight, their sticking to their decisions must be firm and their pronouncement must be established forever.

Such members of the Board of Judges who have established the said principles are certain to secure for themselves the esteem, confidence and respect of everyone.

Jess Perez
Master Teacher II
Labrador,Pangasinan

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