PESJ History (cont.)
In Dec. 1994, the DECS
directives 33-94 and 40-94, ordering for the privatization of Philippine schools abroad,
issued in mid-1994, was finally made public by the Congen. This was after the PTC got wind
of these directives from the Riyadh embassy which was already organizing a management
committee of parents for the Riyadh school to prepare the school for eventual
In the period Jan - Mar
While Riyadh was
openly advocating a pro-parent policy by electing and convening a management committee
during SY 94-95, in Jeddah the effort to empower parents continued to meet stiff
opposition. This opposition came in several forms :
A Faculty & Staff
Association, FSA, was organized in PSJ. The first act of the FSA was to reject the parents
demand for greater participation in the management of the school and to demand that the
FSA runs the school or else it will close it down.
The Congen was insisting
on appointing a governing board, not an election as was being proposed by the
parents through the PTC.
Even parents activities in
the PSJ were curtailed by the non-cooperation of school officials in endorsing PTC
meetings and the circulation of memos.
In the face of these
adversities, the Parents Association and PTC continued on their vigilance with their
resolve further strengthened rather than diminished. Having no recourse within the school,
the PA resorted to external means such as a mass media campaign to inform as wide a sector
about these problems and difficulties. The PTC also brought this matter to the attention
of the highest office in the Philippines, the Office of the President.
In Mar. 1995,
The Congen was finally
persuaded to organize a committee to screen nominations to a school governing board, while
insisting that he will still appoint from among these nominees. The nomination process was
carried out and a list of nominees from among parents and teachers were drawn up just
before the school year ended.
Meanwhile, the efforts of
the PTC to get the attention of Phil. officials in Malacañang, in DECS and in the DFA in
MetroManila started paying off.
On Mar. 30, 1995,
Education Secretary Ricardo Gloria visited us in Jeddah, and in a meeting with the PSJ PTC
and PA representatives, announced the creation of an inter-agency committee composed of
the Secretaries of the DECS, DFA and DOLE, to look into the affairs of Philippine schools
abroad. Sec. Gloria further announced that the inter-agency committee approved the
creation of a management committee elected from among parents and teachers specifically
for the PSJ operation. During that same meeting, this group of parents had also indicated
to Sec. Gloria our desire to achieve a quality of education that is comparable to
outstanding schools in the Phil. such as the Phil. Science High School.
Thus, a vision was
starting to germinate.
In the summer of 1995,
during the school break, all embassy schools in the Kingdom faced a crisis when the Saudi
MOE declared all of these schools illegal and closed unless they secure a proper MOE
license to operate.
With the urging of the
PTC, through letters to Malacañang and DECS, and the intervention of embassy officials in
Riyadh, the PSJ was allowed to reopen for SY 1995-1996.
In June 1995,
The school year 95-96
opened with parents having a high expectation of what they might be able to achieve with
the recent empowerment granted to them by the inter-agency committee. They looked forward
to finally electing their school board during the year and to embark on their program of
quality education at an affordable cost.
Meanwhile in Riyadh, the
designation of Attaché for Education was created by the Phil. Ambassador, to attend more
closely to problems of all Philippine schools in the Kingdom. At about this time, the PTC
had started communicating with Riyadh, urging the Embassy to facilitate holding the school
board elections in PSJ.
In the period
The election for a PSJ
school board was finally set for Sep. 15, 1995. In preparation for this, the Congen
appointed a Committee on Elections, while the Riyadh embassy came out with a guideline on
the process of the election.
What followed was an
intensive campaigning of the Parents Association to get its list of candidates elected
into the school board.
The school board elections
in Al-Khobar and Riyadh were successfully administered by the Phil. Embassy during this
period. In Jeddah however, the Congen announced the resignation of his Comelec on the eve
of the elections and thus aborted a process that could have paved the way for the
much-needed reforms in the PSJ.
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