IT IS worrisome for a 400-year-old University, considered the oldest in Asia and the only Pontifical University, to dwindle in global rankings,given that it annually produces the most number of top professionals in all fields.

Recently, all Philippine universities dropped in the Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) World Rankings. The University plunged to 601 – 700 bracket from 551 – 600 bracket last year.

The QS rankings say more than just numbers;it reflects the quality of education in the country, a quality that diminishes instead of improving through time.

Education in our country has become too commercialized in the recent years. Degree programs such as nursing, accountancy, information technology (IT), hotel and restaurant management, and business management have turned into booming businesses for many institutions. Fly-by-night schools started to emerge.

Schools specializing in IT started to offer Nursing without adequate facilities and resources.

I just hope that CHED would continue an effective monitoring of educational institutions and closing substandard schools to uplift the thinning quality of education.

Books and facilities, meanwhile, turned to sources of corruption. Students would be required to avail themselves books that they would not use as other materials are more necessary. There are even books that are erroneous and substandard.

Unnecessary facilities such as closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras were given priority more than the books in the library, classrooms, printers, and others.

I am not against the installation of CCTVs inside the campus, but putting them inside the classrooms is futile. It should have been placed in areas that are accessible to outsiders such as the pavilions where, until now, numerous cases of theft still occur.

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Curriculums were also changed, increasing the number of years and adding more subjects in numerous programs. The government once said that it was done to make Philippine education “globally competitive,” but it seems nothing more than a financial burden as more years entail more expenses.

Personally, being in a five-year curriculum has many advantages especially in terms of having more learning opportunities. However, there are times that I feel dissatisfied with the things I learn because our load has become too heavy. I sometimes wonder, when the curriculum was formulated, did they even consider our physiologic needs such as sleep?

Increasing the requirements and adding more subjects would not really make us “globally competitive” without enhancing the substance of each course.

Ending the culture of corruption in educational institutions and putting students—the reason of their continuous existence—first in their decisions would help develop upright citizens with healthy minds. They should continually assess the needs of the students to learn and find ways to make learning effective and more desirable.

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