CHEd to close down more nursing programs in 2013

By Dona Z. Pazzibugan/Philippine Daily Inquirer
More nursing programsoffered by colleges and universities will be “phased out” by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) starting 2013 for failing to meet quality standards.
CHEd will announce in February which nursing programs should be phased out starting school year 2013-2014, according to CHEd legal services director Carmelita Yadao-Sison.

Sison said their technical panels took time to carefully review the records of all schools offering nursing programs.

Nursing programs are considered substandard if less than 30 per cent of their graduates have passed the licensure exams in the last three years, or if they lack competent faculty, training hospital, laboratories and libraries.

Sison said they were being strict in order to protect students from wasting time and money with unlikely chances of employment.

More importantly, she said, they have to protect the reputation of Filipino nurses abroad.
“We’re not being the bad guy. We’re just trying to regulate our sector and make sure these nursing schools are compliant with government and international standards,” Sison said when interviewed in the sidelines of the Second Higher Education Summit on Gender Issues held at the University of the Philippines Tuesday.

“Yes everyone is entitled to education but it should be a good one,” she added.

She said the regard for Filipino nurses abroad has gone down after many schools took advantage of the demand for nurses abroad by offering poor and ill-equipped nursing programs.

According to Sison, substandard nursing schools will be given the chance to voluntarily phase out their programs by not accepting new students next school year.

Their current students may be allowed to finish the program if they cannot transfer to other accredited nursing schools.

“We don’t want to prejudice the students so we gradually phase out (the programs),” Sison said.

She reported that since last year, CHEd has closed down about 700 various academic programs offered by colleges and universities due to poor quality of education.

“Most have voluntarily closed their programs by not accepting new students,” Sison explained.

There are, however, schools that defied the CHEd’s order in court and continued to teach and accept students.

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