MANILA — The Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM 2) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) met on Thursday (April 20, 2023) and discussed ways how to help improve tertiary education in the country.
House Committee on Higher and Technical Education Chairperson and EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson Rep. Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City) explained that the panel seeks to create legislation to address the most pressing problems of the sector, as well as policies that would empower higher education institutions (HEIs) to thrive while providing accessible quality education.
He emphasized that education standards should never be compromised.
On his part, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III said that academic freedom and government intervention should be balanced to maintain HEIs’ quality standards.
He added that HEIs should continue to produce graduates who are up to international standards.
He outlined his agency’s priorities, which include 1) improving access to quality education, 2) quality assurance, 3) enhancing graduate education, research, and innovation, and 4) promoting teacher education programs.
House Committee on Basic Education and EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson Rep. Roman Romulo (Lone District, Pasig City) zeroed in on reducing the required general education (GE) units in higher education through the Philippine Credit Transfer System (PCTS). This would help shorten the years of studying, especially for students who underwent the K-12 Program.
Chairman De Vera reported that some HEIs have already reduced the GE courses in certain programs to give way to longer industry immersion. EDCOM 2 Co-Chairperson and Senate Committee on Basic Education Chairperson Senator Win Gatchalian also pushed for the expansion of technical-vocational education and training (TVET) for students seeking degree programs.
Chairman De Vera shared that the CHED is considering engineering and health as some of the fields of study where credit transfer may be maximized.
The panel shall reconvene to further discuss the other issues raised.
Prior to adjournment, Senator Gatchalian asked CHED for assistance that will enable EDCOM 2 to come up with evidence-based recommendations.