House blocks CHED’s move to shut down Bukidnon State University campus: Where will 5,000 students go?
The House committee on higher and technical education moved to stop the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) from implementing its plan to close down extension campuses of the Bukidnon State University (BSU).
In a statement, House members said the closure would displace some 5,000 students in Misamis Oriental and deprive the youth, who come from poor families’
The committee approved a motion calling on the CHED to abandon its abolition plan during the inquiry conducted by the House committee on higher education, chaired by Zambanga Sibugay Rep. Ann Hofer.
Hofer said the CHED was established to ensure that quality higher education is accessible to all particularly those who could not afford it.
“Even before CHED was created (in 1994), the learning institutions have already been there,” Hofer said.
She stressed that the students in the said campuses come from poor families, who could not afford to study in the capital city, more so, in Metro Manila.
Hofer suggested that instead of closures, CHED should cooperate with the local government units and the House members concerned in addressing what was lacking in the external studies centers (ESCs).
“House members, being representatives of the people, are expressing the sense of their constituents, and the sense is not to close the ESCs,” Hofer said.
“The sad reality is that many of our citizens in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon cannot afford to go to school outside their municipalities. We have no community college as the local government units (LGUs) cannot afford them as of now,” she said.
Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette Uy filed a resolution seeking to determine the dire consequences of the CHED order to close the various Bukidnon State University-External Studies Centers (BSU-ESCs) to students and communities in Misamis Oriental.
“CHED has to understand the reality that for our poor citizens in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, it is a harsh choice between a temporary although less than ideal situation of poor facilities and substandard education or no education at all,” Uy said.
Uy said the closure of BSU-ESCs in Misamis Oriental wouls displace close to 5,000 students in the province and permanently deprive them and future generations of youth of accessible and affordable tertiary education.
Bukidnon Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba said the CHED’s closure order would be an injustice to the students to be adversely affected by the said order.
“Most of the students enrolled in the ESCs in Bukidnon will not have the opportunity to study in the BSU main campus due to distance and cost of travel,” she said.
“The ESCs have produced countless professionals who in turn have helped uplift the lives of their respective families,” Acosta-Alba said.