Review CHED officials’ qualifications, President Marcos urged

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Review CHED officials� qualifications, President Marcos urged
Students of Araullo High School in Manila head for home after classes yesterday. At least 17,000 Grade 11 students might be displaced after CHED ordered state colleges and universities to stop offering senior high school program beginning in academic year 2024-2025.
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos should take a serious look at the qualifications of officials of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) after they ordered a “stoppage” of the K-12 educational program of the state universities and colleges taking in senior high school (SHS) enrollees.

“Instead of being part of the solution, CHED created another problem. It is as if our educational system is not beset with enough problems,” Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said.

“The callous pronouncement only shows the priorities and incompetence of the sitting set of (CHED) commissioners, whose qualifications and outputs should now be reviewed by a body created by the President,” Barbers added.

A review of the “composition and competence” of the appointed CHED commissioners is necessary, according to the lawmaker, primarily because ironically, CHED “instead focused on certain minor technicalities, betraying their competence in the education system as a whole.”

“It is not enough that we appoint masteral or doctorate degree holders as CHED commissioners. We should also make sure that they possess outstanding managerial experience, expert and experienced educators, tested by time, and with proven track record and character,” Barbers said.

From where he sits, the senior Mindanao administration lawmaker also observed that “some commissioners act like gods and lord it over the institutions of higher learning.”

For Makati City 2nd District Rep. Luis Campos Jr., SHS students who were displaced from SUCs can still move to private schools and receive government tuition subsidy by way of vouchers, noting that there is P27-billion tuition subsidy available in the 2024 budget for SHS students placed in private schools.

“In the 2024 General Appropriations Act, Congress earmarked the sum of P27.8 billion to pay for the tuition of disadvantaged Grades 11 and 12 students enrolled in private secondary schools, or in private universities and colleges offering the SHS program,” Campos disclosed.

The P27.8 billion for the SHS Voucher Program (SHSVP) provides tuition grants to enable qualified Grade 10 completers, as determined by the DepEd, to enlist for Grades 11 and 12 in private high schools.

“Assuming SHS students currently enrolled in SUCs cannot be accommodated in DepEd schools in their communities, they can enroll in private schools and the SHSVP can pay for their tuition,” Campos said.

The threat of student displacement arose after the CHED, in a Dec. 18, 2023 memorandum, said SUCs that are still offering the SHS program no longer have the legal authority nor the funding to do so.

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