BUKIDNON NEWS – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has issued an order that disallows Bukidnon State University (BSU) external studies centers to operate allegedly because of certain irregularities.
CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan has asked Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro to disallow BSU to operate its external studies centers in Gingoog City, Salay, Lagonglong, Binuangan, Kinoguitan, Balingoan, Talisayan, Medina, Alubijid, Laguindingan, Gitagum, Libertad, Initao, Manticao, Lugait and at the Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS) in Cagayan de Oro City.
Licuanan, in a letter to Luistro dated March 19, said BSU centers failed to comply with CHED Memorandum Order no. 27 series of 2009.
She said that some DepEd teachers “who were made to teach part-time in the external studies centers degree programs were alleged to have been overloading, cutting class time, having decreased efficiency or teaching without permission from their superintendents.”
For now, the external studies centers were ordered not to accept enrollees.
The BSU external studies centers cater to thousands of students.
No word yet if BSU administrators will file an appeal before the start of classes in June.
UPDATE (as of April 2017) – The Provincial Board of Misamis Oriental has passed a resolution appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to stop CHED’s closure order. This, after identifying that over 5,000 students of Bukidnon State University External Studies Centers will be affected. Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Jose Mari Pelaez.
According to a Sunstar news report, CHED has been conducting fact finding monitoring visits as early as April of 2015 at Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, and in the different public elementary and high schools in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Caraga Region. According to CHED, there are 18 ESCs established by BSU-Main Campus in Malaybalay City, while 10 of these external centers already existed prior to the creation of Ched in 1994. These centers, according to CHED, are using certain portions of public elementary high school buildings, sites, and facilities.
“The operations of these ESCs do not have authorization from the Commission, as the existence of these ESCs were based on Board Resolutions issued by the BSU Governing Board and the memorandum of agreement entered into between BSU representatives, DepEd (Department of Education) officials, local government units,” the order said.
It also added these ESCs cannot be categorized as distance education, recognized in Section 11 of the Manual Regulations for Private Higher Education (Morphe) since the total curricular hours should be in the BSU-Main Campus, not outside of it.
The ESCs cannot also be considered as school branches and extension programs, since the stationed sites, buildings, and facilities are permanently used for public elementary or high school instruction owned by DepEd and its extension programs are restricted to special clientele, under Section 24 of Morphe. The fact-finding also found out that the establishment of institutional sites and buildings, library standards, and programs’ compliance are not complying to the standards.