SHOULD parents have the right to ''fire'' principals? As a heated debate, held recently at the Music Fountain, Sha Tin New Town Plaza, revealed, this is a subject surrounded by controversy. Mr Cheung Man-kwong, Chairman of the Professional Teachers Union, Mr Ho King-on, Vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, and Mr Lee Wah-ming, Legislative Councillor, formed the parents' team and stood firmly for the motion. Opposing them were the principals' team: Mr Tsang Yok-shing, Mr Tai Hei-lap and Ms Yip Sau-wah. The debate was a finale of the ''Home-School Co-operation Programme'' segment of RTHK's Newsrama Programme. According Mr Tai Keen-man, Head of the Public Affairs Unit, the segment was broadcast in the hope of drawing public attention to the importance of co-operation between parents and teachers in respect of students' development. It was also hoped that the show would have made clear how parents and teachers could co-operate to benefit students. '' We hope to emphasise the message in the closing of the 15-week broadcasting through inviting political and educational celebrities to talk about an interesting issue. Having a parents' team also highlighted the importance of their participation,'' said Mr Tik-Chi-yuen, Chairman of the Home-School Co-operation Committee. ''We also invited some pop singers to perform at the end of the programme to provide a light atmosphere and to draw public interest,'' he added. The young singers included K. C. Lee, Karen Tong and Shirley Kwan. The programme began with a performance by the Heep Yunn Primary School Choir which was followed by a drama staged by staff from RTHK's Drama Unit. The play revolved around the importance of love and care to both parents and teachers. Chief speaker for the parents' team, Mr Ho, started the debate by stating that the quality of education depended partly on the policies of the school. If the principal was not doing a proper job, he said, the parents should have the right to fire him or her. Mr Tai Hei-lap, chief speaker for the opposition team, disagreed. ''Customers do not have the right to fire employees - they only have the right to complain about their work,'' he said. The debate was made even more lively as participants could argue against any point made by the other team, regardless of the order of speeches. Both sides gave a tit-for-tat rebuttal against each other and quickly brought the event to a climax. The result was determined by a show-of-hands vote by the audience which judged the parents team to be the most convincing. Following on the heels of the ''Home-School Co-operation Programme'', a segment called ''Teachers Profile'' will be broadcast during Newsrama with the aim of encouraging young people to join the teaching profession.