AN OFFICIAL of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) in Northern Mindanao defended the commission’s decision to close some of the external studies centers (ESCs) operated by Bukidnon State University.
Chief education program specialist of Ched-Northern Mindanao John Banaynal said the satellite learning centers need to be closed because as these have no full-time faculty members, no journals, very limited facilities, outdated books and computers outsourced from a private company, all of these violating the Ched standards.
"We are just following the law, we have to close them," Banaynal said.
After Ched's fact-finding investigation in 2015, Banaynal said they found out that some courses offered in the ESCs do not meet the standards of the program, have no full-time faculty, and majority of the faculty have no masteral studies.
"We cannot judge the limitations of the parent's resources. Unsay ilang gusto among padayunon ang dili mao and we pretend to produce graduates nga dili man diay qualified, unya Asean integration na karon, we need to compete with other country (What do they want, that we continue this mistake and pretend to produce graduates that are not qualified. We need to compete with other countries especially with the Asean integration)," he said.
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Banaynal added that they are also looking the financial limitation of the parents and the academic preparation of the students.
Banaynal also pointed out that most of the municipalities in Misamis Oriental have already a local college where the students can enroll with still affordable rates.
Banaynal instead urged the local government units to create their own schools, through a local ordinance, just like Magsaysay town which has already applied for a local college, while Sugbongcogon and Salay towns are exploring the possibilities.
"It's up to the local government to address the problem, we are not the one who built the schools, we are not operating schools, we are only supervising and administering them. What we can do is provide a policy environment, where local colleges can be established by the local governments, there's a law on this," he said.
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"Now if they insist to stop the closure order, can they extend their faculty members and build their own buildings?" he noted.
Banaynal also said that ESCs were established to bring tertiary education in far-flung areas, but given, that these external centers will be temporal or missionary in nature.
Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said he would try all possible means to stop the closure order.
"Ang ilang gipihig ang kabos, ang ilang gusto muskwela pa dinhi ug muanhi pas Cagayan de Oro, magpletehan pa ug balay ug pagkaon, while ESCs didto gyud na nagpakatawo sa ilang lungsod (The poor will be affected. Why do we need to send our children in Cagayan de Oro, for instance, where they will spend money for food and house rent, when in the first place they can just enroll to the ESCs located in their own municipality)," Emano said.
Emano added that he does not see any problem with the ESCs because it is helping the education of the youth.