CHEd changes mind, grants permit to new Ilonggo nursing school

By Florence F. Hibionada
The News Today online edition

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) took exception to the application of a new nursing school based in Iloilo City.

A Commission moratorium in full effect, CHED Regional Director for Western Visayas Isabela Mahler made a public pronouncement on an apparent change of mind of CHED higher-ups. As such, go-signal is now out on students wishing to pursue a nursing career through the country’s newest Nursing school, Saviour International College – School of Nursing.

In an interview with Radio Mindanao Network’s (RMN) Joel Franco, Mahler said all is now legal with the said college’s existence. Mahler’s announcement came at the height of questions raised on the regularity of Saviour International College’s planned operations.

Dr. Rex Casiple, CHEd Chief Education Program Specialist in an earlier The News Today (TNT) interview acknowledged the new pending applications. He clarified then though that with the moratorium in effect, final say will have to be the central office and that no government permit as of yet was issued here.

Mahler in explaining the exemption said consideration was primarily because of the new college’s tertiary hospital, Saviour International Hospital.

The college as advertised, is set to start classes on June 16 with the venue in a rented office building along Luna Street, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

The moratorium, CHEd Memorandum Order No. 27, series of 2004 in effect throughout the country placed on hold any and all applications on new Philippine nursing programs and of new Philippine nursing schools here.

Such after the government team tasked by CHEd itself discovered too many existing Bachelor of Science (BS) Nursing Programs, a decline in the quality of performance of Filipino nursing graduates and the capabilities of nursing market reaching “saturation point.”

Ordered back in August 2004, Dr.Casiple said the moratorium has yet to be lifted nor amended.

“There is a proliferation of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) offering the B.S. Nursing Programs which if allowed to continue unabated could seriously affect the quality of nursing education in the country and consequently, the status of employment of Filipino nurses in the world market,” number one reason stated in the moratorium went. Further still, CHEd took note of previous results of Nursing examinations which according to the CHEd “show a gradual decline in the quality of performance of nursing graduates, indicating a marked deterioration in the quality of nursing education…”

And lastly, CHEd stated that nursing market capabilities of the country “has reached saturation point.”

“There is dearth of qualified faculty, deans and base hospitals which are considered important, crucial and indispensable factors in the offering of the B.S. Nursing Program,” the moratorium as contained in CHEd Memorandum Order No. 27 Series of 2004 went.

As such, only “pipeline” applications received by CHEd Central Office and regional offices on or before May 4, 2004 will be given due course.

Another consideration will be given to applications and appeals received by CHEd national and regional for school year 2004-2005.

It was not immediately clear which provision justified the exemption to Saviour International College.

Meantime Dr. Casiple said, prospective nursing students and the general Ilonggo public is advised to ensure that schools and programs applied for in this school year must have government accreditation.

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