Dagupan City- The so-called localization law is a big hindrance to quality education because the Department of Education (DepEd) could not hire the ‘best teachers’.
Pangasinan II schools division Superintendent Viraluz Raguindin shared this concern to newsmen Tuesday in a media forum when asked why the department has yet to realize its goal of providing quality education. “We are not hiring the best teachers,” she frankly said.
She explained that the localization law as stipulated in the local government code gives priority to applicants from the barangay where teaching items are open. “Magagalit nga ang barangay captain pag sinunod yong ranking ng mga applicants at hindi yong tagaroon sa kanila ang nahire,” she said during the Engkwentro forum of the Pangasinan Press Club at the Jurassic Ark restaurant.
Ideally, the number one in the list should be given priority but it is not always followed because of the law she said.
Assistant Superintendent Sheila Sison of Pangasinan I agreed noting the realities in the field. But she clarified that anyone from those in the ranking list is qualified for the job.
Rqguindin cited some complications in the hiring of teacher applicants. “Ang problema kung yong number one sa listahan ay walang school sa kanyang barangay,” she said.
She recommended a more liberal application of the law. “Mas maganda kung per district or per town na lang yong application ng localization law,” she said.
On other issues, Sison, now officer-in-charge of Pangasinan I with Dr. Aurora Domingo on leave, said the size of a school division does not matter when it comes to sports, contests and other tournaments.
She was reacting to suggestions that the province should field a single delegation in the Ilocos Region Athletic Association (IRAA) meet to have a fighting chance as had been in the past when Pangasinan, then under one division, dominated the field.
The two education officials noted that smaller division like Ilocos Norte and Laoag City have been excelling not only in IRAA meets but also in journalism contests. They said full support by the Local government units and other groups would again propel the province to the winning bracket. “Lumapit na tayo sa Ilocos Norte,” Raguindin said referring to the close results in the last IRAA meet.
She clarified that Pangasinan has now two distinct school divisions.
The province used to have two administrative divisions because of its size and population. The set-up was adopted sometime in the 1980s. Problems however cropped up in the assignment of personnel distribution of funds and other concerns since there was actually one division for the province.
Raguindin said a law was passed in 2007 creating two school divisions for Pangasinan. The four cities also have their own divisions.
Sison said it was easier to manage a smaller division. “Kahit tatlo pa sanang division ang Pangasinan dahil sa laki nya,” she said. (PIA Pangasinan)
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