CHED  BOSS:  RP  EDUCATION  NEEDS  2  DECADES  TO  KEEP UP  WITH  THE  WORLD

[PHOTO AT LEFT COURTESY  OF 
<http://aufnurses.org/launches.asp>Lawyer-Educator Emmanuel Y. Angeles as new chairman of the Commission on Higher Education]

MANILA, JULY 30, 2009 (STAR) THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said it would take at least two decades for the Philippine educational system to be at par with the rest of the world as it batted for more money and resources to improve facilities, provide more scholarship grants to students and faculty, and to upgrade research and development capability.

CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles said even Vietnam has overtaken the country in some aspects, especially in terms of facilities development. "At a minimum, at least two decades. Ten to 20 years to put our educational system in proper order. If we will not do something, we might even be overtaken by Cambodia," he warned.

The official said that of the country’s 1,741 higher education institutions, only 50 or 3 percent have good facilities. He said the number of those who are able to pass licensure examinations administered by the Professional Regulatory Commission continue to decline. "The number of flunkers exceeded the passers by as much as 1.42 million or 64 percent," he said.

CHED records showed that out of the 2,225, 571 examinees in various PRC-administered board exams since 2001, only 808,884 or 36.35 percent passed.

Angeles said there is a dearth of topnotch scientists and engineers in the country with only 125 of them per million population compared to the standard of 380/million mandated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In faculty development, Angeles said he envies Vietnam which has started a massive faculty scholarship program for some 20,000 college professors and put up a University Town to integrate research and development activities with higher education.

He said with CHED’s P1.5 billion allocation this year, only modest progress can be made.

Comparing the Philippines to Vietnam anew, Angeles said local faculty scholarships are only equivalent to 30 percent of what Vietnam is doing in the same field. He said CHED is backing the construction next year of the country’s own University Town in the P5-billion Philippine Center for Engineering, Science and Technology in a 1,000-hectare lot at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

The Commission also wants 13 additional Zonal Research Centers and six Program Cluster Implementers to add to the current 30 centers nationwide. – Ashzel Hachero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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