News Flash

July 31, 2015, Friday
  • Roxas on serving gov’t: “Ibubuhos ko ang lahat. Wala akong ititira para sa sarili ko.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas to the Filipino people: “Mga boss, hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwala ninyo.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas on Pres. Aquino: “Pnoy allowed us to imagine again what the Filipino is capable of.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas: “Ako si Mar Roxas at tinatanggap ko ang hamon ng ating mga boss.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas: “Buong tapang at buong paninindigan kong tinatanggap ang tawag ng daang matuwid.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas to Aquino: “I have never met a president who sacrificed so much for the country.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas’ voice breaks as he remembers his brother Dinggoy’s memory. about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas says it was his brother Dinggoy who died in 1993 who should have taken on the legacy of serving government. about 1 hour ago |
  • Roxas: Dito sa Club Filipino ko unang sinabing “Bayan, bago ang sarili.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Ang magtutuloy sa atin sa Daang Matuwid, ang paniwala ko po, walang iba ang taong ito kundi si Mar Roxas.” about 1 hour ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “Bakit tayo magpapaakit sa ‘baka,’ kung meron namang sigurado?” about 1 hour ago |
  • Pres. Aquino: “All of us have the obligation to choose the right President.” 2 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino recalls Fmr. Sen. Joker Arroyo used to compare his group as a gathering of people who could fit into a Volkswagen Beetle. 2 hours ago |
  • Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado at Club Filipino praises the peace that Aquino gov’t has put in place in his town. 2 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas enter Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino. 2 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino includes testimonials from Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program’s beneficiaries. 2 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino’s convoy arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan. 2 hours ago |
  • Fire hits a residential area in Laong Laan, Sampaloc, Manila. 2 hours ago |
  • Road in front of Club Filipino in San Juan currently closed to motorists. 2 hours ago |
  • Liberal Party calls the jam-packed event at Club Filipino ‘A Gathering of Friends.’ 2 hours ago |
  • LP Senators Frank Drilon, Ralph Recto, Bam Aquino & TG Guingona as well as DBM Sec. Butch Abad among those present at Club Filipino. 2 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino where LP’s event is being held is also where Cory Aquino had taken her oath as PH President. 2 hours ago |
  • ‘Cory Aquino Hall’ in Club Filipino is where Roxas had announced that he was giving way to Aquino for 2010 polls. 2 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas arrives at Club Filipino in San Juan with wife Korina Sanchez. 3 hours ago |
  • Program at Club Filipino in San Juan for Pres. Aquino’s endorsement of Mar Roxas’ presidential candidacy begins at 10:30 am Friday. 3 hours ago |
  • Solgen says Manila City Gov’t violated ordinance when it granted zoning & building permits to Torre de Manila’s builders. 18 hours ago |
  • Solgen Florin Hilbay blames Manila City government for the construction of Torre de Manila. 18 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman perpetually bars Ex-ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan from holding public office. 18 hours ago |
  • Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio named new Quezon City Police District Chief. 19 hours ago |
  • Binay says Roxas’ campaign will be backed by government’s machinery. 19 hours ago |
  • Binay says Roxas is not a threat to his presidential bid. 19 hours ago |
  • Fire hits a school in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental. 19 hours ago |
  • Malacanang says the 2016 national budget has no pork barrel allocation. 19 hours ago |
  • DOJ files case against the importer of trash from Canada. 19 hours ago |
  • Alma Moreno and Princess Jacel Kiram to run under UNA’s senatorial slate. 19 hours ago |
  • Binay says he has yet to complete his UNA senatorial slate. 19 hours ago |
  • Mar Roxas visits graves of Roxases at Manila North Cemetery prior to Aquino’s pres’l endorsement. 19 hours ago |

The State and higher education

By MST News | Jan. 07, 2013 at 12:01am
The Constitution of the Republic does not provide for State control of higher education.  In fact, control in even its most benign form would be antithetical to a clear constitutional grant of academic freedom the parameters of which are, by now, well established in jurisprudence, both local and foreign.  With good reason then does Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ advance the argument that the law purposely designed the Commission on Higher Education to be a “weak agency” so that there would be no derogation at all of the academic freedom that guarantees the flourishing of universities and colleges in their role of being centers of higher education as well as of research.  In fact the community of scholars and professors that a university is should be as independent as possible for such is the demand of scholarship and of academic pursuits.

Lately, the Commission on Higher Education promulgated CHED Memorandum Order No. 46 that announces what it professes to be its benevolent intentions: bringing Philippine higher education to world-class standards, but this in itself already rests on the wrong assumption: that the State can and should, by regulation, bring higher education to global standards.  The incentives given researchers and yes, the very space within which professors can teach without having to bother with an intrusive bureaucracy are what can bring Philippine higher education to international standards.  Truth to tell, basic and higher education have suffered immensely from the successive, unending and flippant experiments by those who head the regulatory agencies, including the mandating of subjects, curricula and even syllabi!

In fact, at present, aside from deciding which operate as colleges or universities and which do not, CHED determines how subjects are taught (it forbids, for example, e-delivery of courses), who should teach (its innumerable memoranda on standards prescribe the qualifications of professors and instructors -- with the result that those with PhDs are preferred, no matter how miserable they may be as teachers, over those with real expertise and with a genuine knack for instruction), and determines who should be taught, regulating class-sizes for example -- all clearly trespassing the margins of academic freedom. And now it proffers Outcomes-based and Typology-based Quality Assessment.

The whole concept of Quality Assessment initiated, engineered, monitored and administered by CHED violates the intendment of the constitutional guarantee of academic freedom.  At the time that an institution applies for a permit to operate, CHED’s effort at assuring itself of quality education should already be at work.  If CHED did not accomplish this when it issued permits and recognitions, why should it now think that by overhauling the entire higher education system through what it surreptitiously labels “Quality-Assessment” it will be able to achieve what it should have done in the very first place at the permit and recognition phases?

The memorandum also attempts to usurp the role of voluntary accreditation.  If CHED implements this scheme, voluntary accreditation will be superfluous as it is CHED’s scheme by which institutions are ranked, classified and characterized.  This negatives the voluntary character of accreditation.  It preempts voluntary accreditation schemes, subjecting all to the uniform typologizing of the CHED, vertical, horizontal or diagonal!

The Constitutional guarantee of academic freedom insulates higher education institutions principally against government intrusion into academe.  Noteworthy is the fact that in prescribing the State’s role over education, the word “control” will not be found.  But when the memorandum seeks to determine which institutions shall be professional institutions, colleges or universities by standards set by the CHED then the State through CHED intrudes into the very heart of the organization and operation of academic institutions.

If the CHED rues the proliferation of universities, it has only itself to blame.  No institution ever becomes a university without CHED’s fiat.  As for state universities and colleges, unless the CHED can find some way of limiting legislative power to create universities, there is no way CHED can stay the hand of Congress when it legislates into existence a state university or college.

Curiously, while CHED professes that it rejects that one-size-fits-all approach to higher education that is in effect what it accomplishes through this ill-advised memorandum:  In laying down the strict boundaries between different types of institutions and the minimum criteria each must meet, it is imposing one size on all.

What happens to those institutions that now enjoy “college” or “university” status but do not meet the ambitious schemes of the assailed CHED Memo?  In this respect, CHED is in a bind.  If it re-classifies them, such an adverse action would violate the long entrenched principle of respect for vested rights.  The right to the status of “college” or “university” vests the moment the CHED confers the category or title and can be revoked only for violation of the very grounds on which grant of the title rested, but not on the retroactive application of new standards and criteria.  On the other hand, if new universities and colleges must comply with the newly-prescribed quality- assessment standards, while already established colleges and universities are not required to, one will have the unequal application of the laws: there will be one set of colleges of universities complying with new QA standards, and others abiding by older standards.

We have exhibited tolerance for self-regulation in several areas of national life.  Movie directors and producers, for example are, to a considerable extent, self-regulating.  But if we rightly recognize the art thrives only when artists are free, why does CHED not seem to get the point that academe flourishes only when academics are free.  The moral lesson should be clear: Just as scientists should never be told how to do science and what science should be busy at, academics should not be told how to go about their business, least of all by government.  Self-regulation will also effectively deal with a concern that has been CHED’s constant and ready pretext for intervention: the protection of public interests.  In the first place, it is fallacious to make of CHED the exclusive repository of the standards of quality.  Who ordained the bureaucrats of CHED the supreme arbiters of quality in education?   In the second place, the academic institutions will be vigilant and jealous about keeping their ranks untainted by counterfeits and frauds.  And finally, the public itself should be trusted to make judgments about which institutions to trust and which to eschew.  If we trust the electorate to choose a president for the country and to elect into the chambers of Congress those who craft our laws, why should we not trust the public to make decisions about which institutions should educate their children?

Educators are right to be indignant over CHED Memorandum Order No. 46, and they are right about taking steps to see to its recall or rescission.  The clear message should be sent: The sacred grooves of academe are for academics into which the pettiness and silly minutiae of State intrusion are most certainly unwelcome!
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