CAGAYAN DE ORO -- The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) closed down the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program of eight higher educational institutions (HEI) in Northern Mindanao.
Ched-Northern Mindanao ordered the eight schools to stop accepting enrollees in their Nursing course this year following the schools' failure to comply with Ched memorandum orders (CMO) 30, series of 2001, and 14, series of 2009, where schools offering the program must have instructors with at least a master's degree and other competencies, abide by the laboratory and library requirements, and their poor performance in the Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE).
The phasing out will be gradual, said Dr. Arlita Amapola Minguez, educational supervisor II of Ched-Northern Mindanao.
The schools will no longer accept new enrollees this academic year and wait until the second year to fourth year students currently enrolled in the program to graduate.
The five HEIs are Blessed Mother College in Cagayan de Oro City, Lyceum of Iligan Foundation, Medina College in Ozamiz City, North Central Mindanao College in Lanao del Norte, and Lanao School of Science and Technology in Lanao del Norte.
Three other schools that were ordered to phase out their nursing program and whose appeal for reconsideration are under process are St. Michael’s College in Iligan City, Camiguin Polytechnic State College in Mambajao in Camiguin, and La Salle University in Ozamiz City.
However, Camiguin Polytechnic State College did not make it to lobby its papers before the deadline, said Minguez.
The other three schools that voluntarily phased out their Nursing course because of lack of enrollees are Christ the King College of Gingoog, Lourdes College, and Systems Technology Institute of Cagayan de Oro City.
Moratorium on oversubscribed programs
Ched has also imposed a moratorium on saturated programs through CMO 22, series of 2010, where no school can introduce new offerings under the moratorium.
The programs are Bachelor of Science (BS) Business Education with the most enrollees nationwide, followed by BS Nursing, Teacher Education, BS Hotel and Restaurant Management, and BS Information Technology.
Dr. Zenaida G. Gersana, Ched-Northern Mindanao director, said in a press conference Tuesday that most of those who graduated from the program could not be employed.
Karen Joie Cuenca, Ched-Northern Mindanao educational supervisor, said, "Though there is a need for more teachers, especially that K to 12 has, already been implemented, imposing a moratorium on Teacher Education is not a problem since there are more than 500 schools nationwide offering the program."
“All we have to do is develop these existing schools,” Cuenca told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday.
Gersana said students should enroll in agriculture programs than IT and other oversubscribed or trending programs. Agriculture programs are also the least enrolled programs.
“The students are not into agriculture despite the scholarships like Cocofed and other agriculture-related scholarship,” she said, adding that most students would still not bite into the scholarship offers just to incentivize them to take agriculture courses.
Minguez cited that students might be thinking that agriculture programs have to do with lots of planting and field work.
“We need agriculture because we need more people to produce food,” she said.
Cocofed scholarships have long been phased out, but Minguez said the Department of Agriculture through its Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, a program that helps farmers, has allotted funds for scholarships for those who would take agricultural courses.
Agriculture and related fields are also enlisted in Ched's priority programs in Student Financial Assistance Program.
The courses are fisheries, agriculture, agro-forestry, agricultural technology, food technology, veterinary medicine, agricultural engineering, agricultural business management, agricultural entrepreneurship, and agricultural economics.
Tuition fee hike approved
In a previous report published in Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, 18 schools lobbied for an increase in tuition rate matriculation for the coming academic year.
Of the 18, only 11 of these were approved to increase with a proposed rate of increase from 2.75 percent to 5 percent and not exceeding to the Moving Annual Inflation Rate for Education of 7.21 percent.
The following schools have increased their new tuition per unit: Misamis University, Ozamis City (P483.44); St. Michael’s College, Iligan City (P469.91), Liceo de Cagayan University (P724.23), Cagayan de Oro College (P514.80), Christ the King College, Maranding, Lanao del Sur (P210.00), Misamis University, Oroquieta City (P338.47), Christ the King College, Gingoog City (P437.89), Capitol University, this city (P569.74), Lourdes College (P650.64), La Salle University, Ozamiz City (P696.89) and Xavier University (P835.94).(Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)