Students launch signature drive versus 5-year nursing course

Published by rudy Date posted on February 1, 2009

Two student groups launched a signature drive against the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) plan to include nursing among the courses it will cover in its two-year pre-university level system, which will effectively turn the four-year nursing program into a five-year course.

Leaders of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) and the Health Students’ Action (HSA) said they will circulate a petition seeking to stop the plan in schools all over the country and online.

John Henry Rico, vice chairperson of HSA, said they would step up efforts to oppose the measure since it would ultimately result in more students dropping out of college.

Rico lamented that an additional year would mean additional expenses for parents and longer agony for those longing for employment.

He pointed out that the additional year does not assure increased competency of Filipino nursing graduates.

“The deterioration of the quality of nursing education, brought about by the increasing profit-orientation of the nursing education and training will neither be resolved nor lessened by the added year,” HSA said in a statement.

Alvin Peters, NUSP national president, for his part, said the proposal to extend all courses to five years was a ploy by the government to “disguise its neglect in providing jobs for new graduates.”

“By extending students’ stay in college for an additional year, the Arroyo government is trying to avoid graduates immediately becoming a part of the swelling number of unemployed,” Peters said.

The NUSP slammed the proposal, saying it was the “height of insensitivity” to mandate an additional year for already struggling students and parents amidst the worsening economic crisis.

“No one is fooled by CHED’s justifications of the proposal,” said Peters. “If the government really wants to improve the quality of education, CHED should monitor the performance of and regulate higher education institutions in the implementation of their programs,” Peters emphasized.

“To date, CHED has not decisively acted on the mushrooming number of diploma mills in the country,” he added.

CHED chairman Dr. Emmanuel Angeles III recently announced the agency’s plan to establish a two-year pre-university level for Engineering, Accounting, Architecture, Pharmacy, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and even Nursing and Education course students by academic year 2009-2010.

Angeles said the CHED was already preparing the curriculum for the pre-university level.

“Starting academic year 2009-2010, all existing 5-year programs with PRC licensure examinations as well as – we want to include if we can do it – education and nursing, shall follow the 10 plus 2 plus 3 (education path),” Angeles told education beat reporters last Monday.

With the move to include Education and Nursing programs in the pre-university system, the two courses will become five-year programs instead of the current four years.–Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star

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