CHED Chief Exhorts Heads of Universities

Article excerpt

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Dr. Ester A. Garcia has asked the leaders of the country's 108 state universities and colleges (SUCs) to promote excellence and quality instruction to millions of students nationwide so that the Philippine education system can be at par with those of other countries.

Garcia, who spoke before presidents and representatives of memberschools of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) during the organization's recent midyear meeting in Batangas City, said that the SUCs governing board is an important agent for effectiveness in the pursuit of excellence and quality.

"Informed discussions and scholarly inquiries into the relationship between academic freedom and excellence have invariably led to the inescapable conclusion that academic freedom can be used only in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and excellence as well. Thus no college or university is free to become mediocre, so say the advocates of academic freedom. Here, there is really no freedom of choice. Colleges and universities are free only for the purpose of becoming excellent," Garcia said.

The CHED chairperson said that while academic freedom provides the higher education institutions (HEIs) the freedom to decide on what is to be taught, how is to be taught, who will teach and who will be taught, the commission has been empowered by Republic Act (RA) 7722 to set standards and monitor and evaluate higher education through the performance of HEIs according to these standards.

Garcia noted that CHED sets only the minimum standards, leaving it to the individual HEIs, through their respective governing boards to aspire for higher levels of quality. "Here again, there is no other choice except to go up, or to stagnate," she said.

"The SUC governing board's emphasis on quality and excellence, as well as relevance, should be already reflected in the preparation of the institution's long-range development plans. We all know that this plan embodies the institution's corporeal life - the flesh and blood, as it were, that give shape and substance to the institution. …