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CHEd: ASEAN integration not enough reason for calendar shift.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Saturday reiterated that ASEAN 2015 Integration may not be enough reason for Philippine Higher Education Institution (HEIs) to change their academic calendars.

CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said that "the academic calendar is not a major issue" for the ASEAN 2015 adding that "there is no provision in ASEAN Integration about synchronizing academic calendars of HEIs in the region."

"We believe that it is important to think about how Philippine higher education can best respond to ASEAN Integration in 2015," Licuanan said.

However, PH HEIs should ensure that they can address the underlying concerns should they choose to shift their calendars from June to later months of the year.

Licuanan said that there are two basic concerns for HEIs which include the "quality of our college or university students" and "how well we have prepared our college or university graduates for the world of work."

On the first issue, Licuanan said that HEIs need to carefully look into the quality of college students in terms of their readiness to "engage with students from other ASEAN member states" and if "our college graduates up to par with their ASEAN counterparts."

Licuanan added that HEIs need to carefully assess if they "produce college graduates with the technical skills and competencies as well as the ability to communicate, innovate and collaborate, think critically, find and solve problems, and possess the commitment to lifelong learning." These, she said, "is the essence and challenge of ASEAN Integration."

In terms of preparedness of HEIs for the world of work, Licuanan said that PH "HEIs need to guarantee that our curricula, instructional modalities and standards, assurance of learning and assessments of learning outcomes of students in the different degree programs produce the level of professional skills and competencies vis-?-vis the emerging ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework to ensure the mobility of our graduates within the region under the Mutual Recognition Agreements or MRAs."

These concerns, she stressed, are what "we all need to work on together as a nation, are much more fundamental than the issue of academic calendars."

Several HEIs that have already announced the shift from June to later months include the University of the Philippines System, University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Integration next year.

CHEd on Wednesday said that it "does not advise a change in the academic calendar" amid the announcements of several HEIs regarding their calendar shift from June to later months.

Recently, CHEd released the findings of its Technical Working Group on Academic Calendar (TWGAC) which was created to study the possible implication of a change in the academic calendar for the country's HEIs. The findings showed that it "is not advisable due to various considerations."


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Title Annotation:Latest News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Mar 29, 2014
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