Students denounce CHED's "lies" about additional year for college courses

Student leaders from the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) were joined by various youth and student groups in a press conference hosted by Atty. Adel Tamano, president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila to belie recent claims by CHED that it had put off any measure to extend the number of years of university and college courses.

The groups reiterated their call against any measure to extend the number of years of education. NUSP national president Alvin Peters said denounce claims by CHED that they were ready to shelve the proposed 5-year nursing and education courses, saying that the alternative 10+2+3 scheme was essentially the same as a 5-year course.

"CHED is lying through its teeth when it says that they will not push through with plans to extend college education by an additional year, especially because CHED chairman (Emmanuel) Angeles is part of the taskforce which has recommended an additional 1-year pre-baccalaureate system for education," said Peters.

Peters was referring to the Presidential Taskforce on Education Reforms which was formed last year and recently released its recommendations. CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles is the vice chairman of the taskforce.

John Henry Rico, vice chairperson of the Health Students' Action said that they would step up efforts to oppose the measure since it would ultimately result in more students being forced to drop out of college.

An additional year means additional expenses for parents and longer agony for those longing for employment. It does not necessarily mean increased competency for nurse graduates. The deterioration of the quality of nursing education, brought about by the increasing profit-orientation of the nursing education and training will neither be resolved nor lessened by the added year," Rico said in a statement.

For his part, Peters said the proposal to extend all courses to 5-years was a ploy by the government to "disguise its neglect in providing jobs for new graduates."

"By extending students' stay in college for an additional year, the Arroyo government is trying to avoid graduates immediately becoming a part of the swelling number of unemployed."

"Gusto na naman ng gobyernong ito na i-magik ang mga datos para palabasin na hindi siya inutil, bagay na pinatunayang sanay na sanay na siya," said Alvin Peters, NUSP national president. (The government is clearly attempting to do magic with the data once again in order to disguise its inaction and neglect, something it's been shown to have a penchant for)

The NUSP slammed the proposal, saying it was the "height of insensitivity" to mandate an additional year for already struggling students and parents amidst the worsening economic crisis.

No one is fooled by CHED's justifications of the proposal," said Peters. "If the government really wants to improve the quality of education, CHED should monitor the performance of and regulate higher education institutions in the implementation of their programs," Peters emphasized.

"If the recommendations of the PTFE are anything to go by, the Arroyo government would push the country's education system into a crisis from which it might never recover," said Peters.

Among the other recommendations of the PTFE include: the rationalization within a moratorium period of the creation and conversion of state universities and colleges; re-orienting the premises of financing public higher education; establishment of the National Educational Evaluation and Testing System (NEETS); establishing common standard for accreditation per discipline; and curricular reform in higher education.

Peters warned that the proposal to add an additional year to course offerings in universities would ultimately result in a "more intensified exodus of students from tertiary education and subsequently a larger out-of-school-youth population." ###

Resign, CHEd chief told
By Thea Alberto

http://newsinfo. inquirer. net/breakingnews /nation/view/ 20090202- 187019/Resign- CHEd-chief- told

MANILA, Philippines -- Youth groups are demanding the resignation of the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) for being "profit-oriented" following his proposal for an extra year in college to improve the quality of education in that level, their officials said Monday.

At the same time, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) and Kabataang Pinoy [Filipino Youth], along with lawyer Adel Tamano, president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila, PLM) and United Opposition spokesman, said that CHEd Chairman Emmanuel Angeles' plan only "favored profit-oriented higher educational institutions" and were "anti-poor and anti-student."

"CHEd Chair Angeles is currently listed as member of the Board of Trustees of Angeles University Foundation as its corporate secretary. He has a reputation to have a negative bias towards the poor and marginalized," said Tamano in a statement.

Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan Pinoy spokesman, said the planned five-year program was "insensitivity to the difficulty being experienced by the students and parents due to high education and living costs."

"This policy will cause a significant number of students to drop out from school especially considering that there is a global economic crisis. Instead of coming up with senseless projects like this, the government should focus on lowering education costs and making education more accessible," he added.

At the same time, CHEd should "overhaul its educational policies" if it really wanted to improve the quality of education, said NUSP national president Alvin Peters.

"The current recommendations of CHEd and the government will only push the country's education system into a worse crisis. This has been the case for the past years. The government should reverse its policy of deregulation and privatization of education and should raise the budgetary allocation for public higher education," he said.


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