What can UC and CHED do to UC students’ problem?

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc - CDN Digital | October 18,2019 - 08:06 AM

Let me clarify from the onset that I have high regard for the University of Cebu (UC) as an educational institution. It has created its name for quite a long time already. 

In fact, I remember that I congratulated on-air UC for producing students who landed in the top 10 during the board examination in one of its courses offered. The passing percentage also seems to be impressive because it was quite high. 

But what is behind this fame that UC has? Is the institution really a prestigious one? Is the training really good? Is the standard really high? Or is there a tragic story behind the so called “fame”?

Is UC concern too much on its passing rating percentage that prompted it to allow only a very few students to graduate and eventually take the board exam? Is the institution making a lot of students sacrificial lambs by not allowing them to graduate and take the board exam just to make it appear that they have high passing percentage?

These questions are inevitable after I received complaints from students and parents of UC Electrical Engineering graduating students. They said that they already paid everything for their graduation. In fact they showed to me their graduation pictures. 

Why did it reach to this point before they were finally told that they could not graduate?  Are the officials concerned not sensitive enough to the feelings of their students? I learned that one of students even planned to commit suicide. 

What about the feelings and expenses of parents who travelled all the way from the Visayas and Mindanao to Cebu expecting that their children could join the graduation ceremony last Tuesday? I cannot blame the parents because the school accepted all the payments relative to the graduation. 

I could not imagine that out of 40 students only 6 were allowed to graduate. As per testimonies of the students, after the preliminary examination before the mid-term, they were told by their review instructors that the school has raised its standards and that in their batch only 6 could graduate. Because it was too early to judge, they did not believe at that time until it finally happened.

I sent my DYHP RMN Cebu reporter Arvie Veloso to UC to get its side. On the part of Atty. Augusto Go, UC President, he said he gave the authority on the matter to his deans, chairmen and instructors. 

Only Engr. Greg Belongilot and Engr. Denis Laota entertained our reporter. The chairman, Mr. Bryan Calma, did not appear as he was allegedly suffering from fever, same reasons when he did not entertain the parents who wanted an explanation on the matter. 

Belongilot and Laota explained that the UC electrical engineering department raised its standard. The new passing rate is 75 percent for their examination. He added that the school is willing to return the graduation expenses that were accepted by the school. They said that they called up a meeting with the parents but the latter did not appear. 

With these additional facts, the additional questions would be: can UC instructors change the school standard overnight? Why did they allegedly raise the standard when they were already graduating?  

Why did they pass all their subjects from 1st year to 4th year? Why did they fail only in the review subjects when they are graduating?  Will it not boomerang to their instructors from 1st to 4th year? 

If, indeed, standard is raised, can it be done overnight? Why did they not fail them from 1st year to 4th year? Are they afraid that they will transfer to other schools and so tuition fee will not anymore enter into their coffer?

The school’s willingness to return the money is not the issue here, but the students and parents feelings is. Why did it reach to the point that students paid their graduation fee and had their graduation picture taking? Why could they not give the exact number and names of those who could graduate a day before the graduation ceremony? 

Why did the parents insist that they did not know of the alleged meeting? Why were instructors unwilling to confront the parent in front of the media so that it will be known who among them is telling the truth?

What is really the problem here? The students or the teachers? Why did UC allow Junrey Vistal to teach review subject in June this year when he was not yet an engineer? Why was he allowed to teach engineering review subject when he himself was also reviewing for his board exam? 

What about the laboratory factor? Why did the school accept the whole amount for laboratory fees when in truth they did not have laboratory experience? What about the very hot classrooms where male students took off their shirts because the air-con is damaged? Is the place still conducive for learning?    

Does Atty. Go really know these? Will CHED officials just close their eyes on this and continue to pretend that they are waiting for a formal complaint? Can they not initiate their own investigation and anticipate that students are hesitant to have their names exposed? 

Why do students and parents have to suffer for the teachers’ and school’s shortcomings? 

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TAGS: CDN Digital opinion, Cebu columns, columnist Ruphil Bañoc, Opinion, UC

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