• Fairness and justice of K-12 related decisions

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    TERESITA TANHUECO-TUMAPON

    TERESITA TANHUECO-TUMAPON

    AT the onset of getting ready for senior 11, HEI’s had to make unusually hard decisions. This is especially true in having no or very minimal enrolment of college freshmen and next year, likewise, no sophomore college students. So different from June of earlier years when campuses would be teeming with freshmen eager to go to higher level of studies – a college education. Aware of their being young adults – boys begin sensing their manhood — a stage where they can be like the romeos they watch in the movies or on the you tube that by this time, has become a systemic part of their waking hours. On the side of a young miss, there would be warm awakenings —- whether that boy who had been eyeing her in their Grade 10 high would be around in senior high. But that hope has taken a turn. There’s no “college” with two of them together. The male Grade 10 completer, since this is how the K-12 labels the once known high school graduate, chose to enroll in a different track from her and in another school.

    On the part of the HEI, the classrooms that once where filled up with students fresh from their summer vacation, are nowhere. Many institutions adjusted enrolment periods, setting the days earlier than the usual two weeks before classes start — a practical strategy to draw more senior high, and be able to calculate early enough how much less would go into the coffers. Would the school have enough to cover up direct cost for these transition years? Five years before this school year, far sighted institutions with selective admission and retention, lowered cut offs and stowed away a portion of tuition and fees to help tide the school over for these two lean years. Changing all school bulbs to LED was a similar move to lessen cost.

    This brings us to have a closer look manpower-wise. Increasing several freshmen classes to 35 instead of 25 students would save a school at least one section, hence, 54 hours less to pay a teacher on an hourly rate or one less excess load to pay. Unless permanent status teachers resign on their own, cutting down their services would by law translate in a separation pay. If accepted in the Department of Education or in chartered HEI’s, they would be in a promising set up — what with the Du30 dispensation poised firmly to increase salary levels. Others, fulltime but temporary and found superfluous, would resign themselves to work in non-academic entities and in a new culture. With some uncertainties, they have to make necessary adjustments for what maybe a lifetime decision they begin to live with. Others may avail themselves of transition scholarships, but this privilege may pose varying length of return service among schools and may not be compatible with personal plans. For those with no space for them in the school, and where labor laws may be quite hazy, fairness and justice is a two-fold issue the human resource management has to face, even as it helps the school to remain viable and sustain quality services.

    Fairness and justice sometimes are used interchangeably. Fairness is contextual. It refers to a particular situation. Justice follows a universal rule of conduct. Sometimes, a person would say, “Is this fair to me?” When we use the term “fair,” is there need to qualify the sentence with “to me?” When some action is fair, it means, whatever was that, was “just.” Each party has had a fair share, or given him/her what is his/her “just” due.
    Decisions of what are termed “just” and “fair” are decisions that reston equity, equality, openness, impartiality, and consistency.

    With the transition years to K-12, distributive justice comes into play. Such justice relates to rewards; top management has to be guided by economic justice. Economic justice is about fairness in what people receive, from goods to attention.http://changingminds.org/explanations/trust/four_ justice.htm

    There are three types of fairness — procedural fairness, substantive fairness and interactional fairness.
    Procedural fairness is “holding judgment until related facts thoroughly gathered are known and evaluated. Evaluation implies that the person/s concerned or accused are able to ventilate their respective stories.”

    Substantive fairness means “all parties get what is due them, and not necessarily what they want to get.” In other words, procedural fairness “relates to a fair or consistent reward process.” It is concerned with “the procedures used by a decision-maker, rather than the actual outcome reached. It requires (that) fair and proper procedure be used when making a decision.” In other words, procedural fairness, also termed as procedural justice involves “a concept of dispute resolution” which provides “an employee a fair process in resolving disputes.” <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/procedural-fairness.html>

    The third type, interactional justice is defined by sociologist John R. Schermerhorn as the “degree to which the people affected by a decision are treated with dignity and respect.”

    The theory focuses on the interpersonal treatment people receive when procedures are implemented. This side of interactional justice is also referred to as interpersonal justice.

    Further, there is informational justice. This refers to the “clarity of the explanations given why certain procedures were used and why the distribution of outcomes arising from the procedures are such.” https://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactional_justice

    In brief, interactional justice concerns “fairness of how individuals treat one another not only when resources are distributed but in everyday interactions, as well.” <https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/glossary/i/interactional-justice-definitions>

    Fairness and justice as part of an organization’s culture nurtures commitment of members, minimizes tendency to resentment — united, despite uncertain times.
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    Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon, PhD, one of the Philippines’ most accomplished educators and institutional management experts, held top academic positions at Xavier University (the Ateneo de Cagayan) before heading chartered institutions. She studied not only in the topmost universities in the Philippines but also in Germany, Great Britain and Japan. An internationalization consultant on call, she is copy editor of the Liceo journals, and professorial lecturer at the Graduate Studies of Liceo de Cagayan University (in Cagayan de Oro City). Awards include a Lifetime Professional Achievement Award from the Commission on Higher Education.
    (Email:ttumapon@liceo.edu.ph)

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    1 Comment

    1. ferdinand naboye on

      hay sana the department of education wakes up and realize that the philippines is an indepent country and not a pet dog of the west. let us go back to the century old education system and strenghten it. we do not need to follow the bastard US standard for they are not our masters