NAT CONTROVERSY: DepEd files charges vs ‘erring school heads’

April 4, 2011 at 1:12 am Leave a comment

MANGALDAN – The Department of Education Region I Office has filed charges against “erring school officials” in Mangaldan town in connection with the alleged cheating in National Achievement Test conducted last week.

Dr. Ligaya Soledad Miguel, DepEd regional director, said in a telephone interview that the preliminary investigation showed that there was prima facie evidence against the officials “for grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the interest of service.”

She said a committee will be designated to conduct a full investigation about the matter and promised that “there will be no cover up of the incident, no cover up of the issues.”

“We will find out the truth and the erring ones will be dealt with accordingly,” Miguel said.

Last week, a government employee blew the whistle on cheating in NAT with the involvement of school officials and teachers, in Mangaldan district office I.

The employee said the cheating took many forms, the worst of which is this: After the pupils have finished answering the test questions, the teachers will erase the wrong answers and change them with the right ones before the papers are submitted to the Division Office.

She said during the last NAT, principals and head teachers got copies of the test papers in advance and had them photocopied so they can “review” the pupils on the questions. But the employee tipped reporters on the alleged cheating which then get publicized.

Miguel however, refused to name the “several school officials” who were charged, saying only that “they are from Mangaldan District I” and “they are already under preventive suspension.”

Several teachers from the different schools admitted their involvement in the cheating, she said.

She also said that the regional office was “focused on finding out what really happened and who were responsible, not on who leaked the alleged cheating to the media.”

The Inquirer earlier quoted the whistle blower saying education officials created a task force but it was investigating who leaked the information to the media and not the dishonest activity.

“We are looking into what happened, who erred, who violated the sanctity of the test,” she said.

Miguel said she was “disappointed” about what happened in Mangaldan.

“We want Region I to be a model region. We don’t like dishonest acts among officials or anyone, in exams or other activities. We don’t like the teachers to be models of dishonesty but for them to teach proper and desirable values to the pupils” she said.

The whistle blower said school officials and teachers aim for higher marks in NAT because low performance would mean the school will be “carpeted” or will be under watch by higher officials, the source said.

Miguel said DepEd focuses on schools with low performance for proper supervision and guidance.

Entry filed under: News.

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