Minister of Education Dr. Dale Jenkins jumped to the defense of Director Hasinta Ida Rekoi Kilcullen, MOE Division of Curriculum, after the Senate Education Committee Chairman, Senator Tabelual, reported to the Senate his recommendations against her nomination to the Scholarship Board.

In a letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules, Minister Jenkins said that it was not his normal habit to address letters to members of the legislature unless his opinion is solicited. Still, he said he was compelled to after watching the Senate sessions and seeing what he felt were personal attacks and inaccurate descriptions of incidents against Director Kilcullen by Senator Tabelual.

Reporting on the nomination of Ms. Kilcullen to the Palau National Scholarship Board, Senator & Chairman of Education Committee Tabelual cited two incidents that he said personally affected his recommendation of Ms. Kilcullen to the PNSB Board.  One of the incidents cited and attributed to Ms. Kilcullen alleged that Ms. Kilcullen told one of the teachers in the education cohort program to resign from her regular position and apply to be a special education teacher.  The implication was that Ms. Kilcullen was using her position to push the teacher to change, which was not the preference of the teacher.

Minister Jenkins vehemently denied such allegations during a press conference when the question was raised to him.  He said he was “intimately” involved in both incidents and what was said was false and misleading.

“I express my concerns to you because I feel that Director Kilcullen’s reputation was attacked without the possibility of giving her side of the story.  This harms her.  It also causes the image of weakness in our administration and my performance as a minister,” stated Dr. Jenkins in his letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules.

No action has been taken on the nomination of Ms. Kilcullen so far, although the Senate Education Committee held an oversight hearing with the Ministry of Education last week.

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