[Blueboard] Diploma Mills

hkeh at ateneo.edu hkeh at ateneo.edu
Wed Feb 4 17:52:56 PHT 2004


Hi! :) I hope you can find time to read my article at The Manila Times
today. Please help our cause by forwarding this to your friends and
colleagues. Thank you very much! May you have a good day!

The link to the article is:

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/feb/04/yehey/opinion/20040204opi4.html

Or you may read the article below:

Diploma Mills
by:Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times, February 4,2004
 
If there is one business worth investing in aside from the food sector it
has to be the business of education. The return of investment for those
who run the school are usually more than what one would receive in other
businesses. I think that one of the main reasons is that like food,
education is a major necessity in our society and that the ultimate dream
of every Filipino parent is to be able to see his or her child receiving
a college diploma. 

But my main concern isn't really for these institutions but more so for
the hundreds of thousands of students who actually invest their
well-earned money to enroll in our schools. Schools for me have always
been institutions run with the primary objective of educating and molding
the minds of the young but with the mushrooming and "commercialization"
of higher education institutions, it makes me wonder whether this
objective is still carried out effectively or is sacrificed for the
personal gain of those who run it. 

Not a few of the people who come from reputable higher education
institutions have mentioned to me that they have been bothered by the
constant creation of all sorts of colleges and universities around the
metropolis. Like me, their main concern really lies in the quality of
education that these new institutions have been offering to its students.
I would remember that not so long ago, students of this certain computer
college rose up in arms to protest what this computer college claimed
that 99 percent of its graduates are assured of employment after college.
Apparently, this false marketing ploy has duped thousands of students
into investing their money into this college. 

I do not think any college even Ateneo, UP or De La Salle for that matter
can claim that 99 percent of its graduates are employed a few months
after graduation. Yet up until now many schools still promise students
all sorts of things from earning more than P15,000 a month right after
graduation to being assured of going abroad and finding work there to
even claiming that they are the best in their field. In my 7 years with
the Ateneo de Manila community both as a student and as an administrator,
I cannot recall a time when the university considered by many to be one
of the best in our nation, claim publicly that they are the very best in
certain fields or courses. What I'm driving at is, if you are really a
good school, people would know that and you need not anymore mislead them
by making false claims and empty promises. 

Another problem that is worth looking at is the kind of teachers that
these institutions have. I have a friend who enrolled in this certain
school that claims to have collaborative programs with American
Universities but after 6 months of schooling, my friend ended up learning
nothing about the course that he enrolled in. Worse, after he complained
about this to one of the managers of the school, he was told to just
enroll again and they would give him a special discount. It was a good
thing that my friend had the presence of mind to just keep his cool or
all hell would've broken loose in that school. 

Gone are the days when only the brightest and the best professors can
actually teach in higher education institutions, now, anybody who
finished college can go teach. 

Many of these teachers are not even qualified to teach since they do not
even have Graduate degrees in their fields and are sometimes even asked
to teach what they are not trained for. As in the case of my friend, his
teacher in basic computer programming turned out to be an English major
graduate whose only background to computer prior to teaching is encoding
at the administrative office of the school. With the quality of teachers
that these schools have, it is no wonder why their graduates eventually
end up with menial jobs or worse, become part of the growing unemployed
sector of our society. 

Finally, the growing number of higher education institutions has also led
to the degradation of what is a suitable learning environment for its
students. Whereas before one's concept of a college or university is a
sprawling campus with lush greeneries and spaces for one to study in,
now, we see that a college can be housed in a 4-story building or worse,
even inside a mall! 

My hope is that the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) and our
government really study this growing problem of our schools becoming
diploma mills that produce graduates who still lack the minimum
competencies needed for them to be effective members of the workforce. A
strict monitoring and evaluation process is needed. 

Education is always a good investment, but just like any investment one
cannot just jump into it without scrutinizing it properly. I am not
against the creation of new schools, I am only against those schools that
continue to short­change their students to serve their own selfish
interests. Bato bato sa langit ang tamaan huwag magalit, ang pikon ay
laging talo.  
 
For comments, you may email the writer at hkeh at ateneo.edu



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