9 OUT OF 10 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS NOT READY FOR COLLEGE - CHED

Manila, August 7, 2003 (STAR) By Rainier Allan Ronda  - Nine out of 10 high school graduates are not academically ready to enter college, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Bro. Rolando Dizon said.

In a press briefing the other day, Dizon said as much as 90 percent of high school graduates from public and private schools are academically ill-equipped to enter college.

However, most of the deficient students come from public schools, he added.

"Most private schools have a 50 percent passing score while the better schools such as La Salle have 75 percent," said Dizon, a former president of the De La Salle University Education System.

He blamed the loose grading system in many public schools, which has a transmutation table that sets a 15 percent passing rate.

The grading formula, Dizon said, enables a student who scored only 15 points in a 100-item exam to pass.

He added that public school teachers tend to let students pass in their subjects despite their deficiencies just for the sake of "continuous progression."

The observance of this "unwritten policy," he said, was due to fears that failed students would only aggravate the congestion in public schools.

To address the academic inadequacy of high school graduates, Dizon said he favors the Department of Educationís plan of adding one more academic year either in the primary or secondary level.

"The Philippines is the only country in Asia that still has 10 years of basic education," he said.

However, while recognizing the need to increase basic education from 10 to 12 years, Dizon said the proposal has to be impleómented gradually due to lack of funds.

Dizon said an additional one year of basic education would cost the government about P7 billion annually.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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