PRESIDENT Arroyo has rejected a proposal from the Commission on Higher Education to add one more year to all college courses, including nursing, but ordered the agency to continue holding consultations on what courses should last five years.
Mrs. Arroyo only approved five years as mandatory for engineering, architecture and accounting, Presidential assistant on education Mona Valisno said during a recent Cabinet meeting.
“The [commission] was proposing if other courses could be made into 15 years [including 10 years of elementary and high school education], but the President and the Cabinet only approved these three courses,” said Valisno, who is also a member of the presidential task force on education.
She said the Cabinet also turned down commission Chairman Emmanuel Angeles’ proposal to add one year to the nursing course.
“But the Cabinet approved our recommendation to benchmark the first two years of our college courses with the Grades 11 and 12 of pre-university years in Singapore and in Europe,” Valisno said.
“We have to strengthen the subjects taught in the first two years of college to ensure international mobility for our students and recognition of Filipino professionals.”
Earlier, Angeles said adding one year to all four-year college courses would help the Philippines conform to global education standards.
“The Philippines is one of only two countries that require 10 years of basic education. The other country is Botswana,” Angeles said.
“In other countries, basic education now lasts 12 years.”
Angeles said a technical committee was still reviewing the proposed additional one year, which is aimed at putting the Philippines’ tertiary education at par with those of other countries.
The committee would finish its review this month, and then the commission would consult with education stakeholders in March, Angeles said.–Joyce Pangco Pañares, Manila Stadandard Today