By Dr. Rex Casiple
Most higher education institutions (HEIs) started their classes for first semester in August 2022 for academic year (AY) 2022-2023.
Beginning calendar year (CY) 2022, the government allowed tertiary schools to hold face-to-face classes with 100% capacity in areas under Alert Level 1. Participating students and faculty members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. HEIs were also directed to ensure that participating students were registered with PhilHealth, or with equivalent medical insurance, which covered medical expenses related to COVID-19
All undergraduate students of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) recognized local universities and colleges were entitled to free tuition and miscellaneous fees as per Republic Act 10931 or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act”.
Aside from this, there were scholarships offered by CHED to Filipino undergraduate students enrolled in public and private HEIs through Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program under the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST), an attached agency of the CHED.
To upgrade the qualification of teaching and non-teaching staff in higher education, the government through CHED continued to implement the Staff and Instructor Knowledge Advancement Program (SIKAP). SIKAP is a scholarship grant for HEI’s teaching and non-teaching personnel who are employed or separated from service or discharged within 12 months from date of application.
The month of October is a National Statistics Month (NSM). On October 17-24, 2022 the CHED conducted the 33rd NSM Essay Writing Contest for College Students. The championship trophy was bagged by Mr. Renante E. De La Torre, Jr. of the Philippine Normal University – Visayas. Second place was bagged by Ms Shayne M. Cajilig of West Visayas State University, while third place went to Ms Pia Jovel O. Liquigan also of West Visayas State University. The contest was participated by 51 eligible contestants coming from twenty two (22) higher education institutions in the Region.
The Essay Writing Contest for College Students is a region-wide contest open to all college students enrolled in public and private colleges and universities in the Region. The contest was conducted on October 17, 2022 to October 24, 2022. Awarding of the winners was done during the 33rd NSM Closing Ceremonies on October 27, 2022.
In November 2022, a total of 18,529 out of 24,903 examinees nationwide, or 74.4%, passed the Philippine Nurse Licensure Examination (PNLE) given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Nursing.
West Visayas State University ranked number 1 in the national level with 100% passing percentage. University of Saint La Salle ranked number 5 (98.82%); Saint Paul University Iloilo ranked number 6 (98.8%); and Central Philippine University ranked number 9 (98.46%). Other top performing nursing schools in Western Visayas with 50 or more examinees and at least 85% passing are St. Anthony’s College of Roxas City; Colegio San Agustin – Bacolod; Riverside College; University of San Agustin; and Filamer Christian University.
Also, 25 board passers from Western Visayas were included among the successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest places in the national level: nineteen (19) from West Visayas State University (one Rank #2, one Rank #3, four Rank #4, three Rank #6, two Rank #7, five Rank #8 and three Rank #10); one (1) from University of San Agustin (Rank #7); three (3) from Colegio San Agustin – Bacolod (two Rank #9 and one Rank #10); one (1) from Riverside College (Rank #10) and one (1) from Saint Paul University Iloilo (Rank #10).
The increasing passing percentage in the PNLE in the country as well as in the Region showed that nursing education program in the Philippines is of good quality.