This week, President Surangel Whipps Jr. submitted the name of his ministerial appointee to the Ministry of Education to Senate for confirmation.

Dr. Dale Jenkins, a retired educator and also an American citizen, has been an educator for 38 years, serving in various positions.  According to his resume submitted with his appointment, he has 2 Master’s degrees  and 1 Doctorate degree

One of his Master’s degree is in Educational Administration and Supervision and his Doctorate is in Policy Development and Administration.

In the nomination letter, Whipps said that Dr. Jenkins has devoted his life to education and that nearly 50 years ago he taught at Ngeremlengui Elementary School as a Peace Corp volunteer and later worked as a teacher at Belau Modekngei School.  He went on to work for St. John’s School in Guam, serving in various capacities from 1978 to 2004.

“Dr. Jenkins has practical teaching experience to know exactly what students and teachers need to succeed in the classroom and has the leadership experience and education to foster an engaged and successful Ministry.” Stated Whipps.

The nomination received a lot of reactions from the public when first reported on social media.  Some raised the issue Jenkins nationality, saying that it was contrary to President Whipps motto, “A Kot a Rechad er Belau” or “Palauans first”.  Whipps actively advocates placing qualified Palauans into jobs and positions as much as possible.  Others supported President’s appointment saying that slogan means prioritizing what is good for Palauans.  Others expressed support based on their personal knowledge of Dr. Jenkins and his Palauan wife and family.

If confirmed, it will not be the first time that a non-Palauan is appointed into the President’s cabinet.  Michael Rosenthal was appointed Minister of Justice during the first term of President Tommy E. Remengesau’s administration.

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