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Angara: Major overhaul needed for higher education

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Our higher education system needs a major overhaul, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara at the “Education & Inclusive Growth” dialogue held yesterday at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City.

Angara, a panelist in the Philippine-German dialogue on experience and perspectives, spoke about the worrying state of tertiary level education in the Philippines.

“Higher education in our country is becoming a profitable business. About 75 percent of our colleges and universities are privately-run, leaving only a quarter to be subsidized by the government. This means that for the vast majority of our college students, their education is being financed by their own families,” said Angara.

The need for improvements in Science & Technology, as well as in the Research and Development sector was also brought up during the discussion.

“In the past few years, the Philippines has shown a decreasing competitive index in the global market. This lack of technological capacity stems from the absence of a critical mass of scientists and researchers who will innovate, create, and invent,” explained Angara, head of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

According to Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, this is where the higher education sector must step up.

“Of our 1800 colleges and universities, only an elite handful are considered quality educational institutions. These schools are composed of a community of scholars and scientists who conduct research and mold the young minds of our country into skilled professionals. These select universities must get the appropriate financing so that the members of the academe are able to develop good programs.

What we need now is to take a good look at the status of higher education in our country and make the appropriate steps as soon as possible to address the problems,” said Angara.




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