By NATHANIEL FABIAN
TUGUEGARAO CITY— Non-passers and their parents complain against the results of ‘restrictive’ College Admission Test (CAT) in Cagayan State University (CSU) conducted last May 20 across its 8 satellite campuses. In 10, 523 examinees, only 4, 749 have passed the said examination.
According to CSU Vice President for Administration and Finance Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, this new examination standard is in compliance to the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. He explains that even if the youth has the right to education, it does not mean the university has no right to choose their students.
Non-passers, parents, and sympathizers expressed rage, protest, and complaints especially in social media over the new standard. People have common sentiments as “CSU is the only public university in Cagayan”and “is this free education?”
“Deadma,” Fr. Aquino continues in an interview by Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao. “Wala deadma…deadma hindi namin papalitan yong policy na yan kasi importante yan. Alam mo ang CSU ngayon ay candidate for accreditation by ASEAN University. In other words, ang tinatarget namin ay ASEAN quality education. Papaano namin makakamit yan kung ang mga tinatanggap namin ay hindi niya makakaya ang pag-aaral.” [Nothing, I ignore them (the non-passers). We will not change this policy because it is important. You know, CSU is now a candidate for accreditation by ASEAN University. In other words, our target is ASEAN quality education. How can we meet that if we admit students that cannot study well.]
In June 8, Masakbayan, a group known for its pro-student, pro-poor advocacies pushed its initiative on calling a consultative meeting in Tuguegarao City. This meeting was flocked by non-passers, teachers, and parents from across Metro Tuguegarao who expressed protest against the examination policy.
According to Masakbayan, this examination policy is just one of the schemes proving that CSU, under the tabs of Commission on Higher Education (CHED), is anti-poor. Masakbayan further explains that education is a right, not a privilege.
Also, Kabataan Partylist (KPL) Cagayan Valley provides that CSU is the only existing state university in the province therefore the only option for most students who come from poor families of farmers. Thus, as a state university, CSU should be more inclusive, providing quality education to as many students possible, produce relevant research and conduct mass-oriented extension services.
Beforehand, CHED has announced that State Universities & Colleges (SUC’s) can have tighter enrolment policies as found in the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10931.
Another entrance examination has been set to be conducted in June 22. Both Masakbayan and KPL are bracing for a protest on June 18 in CSU Andrews. # nordis.net