Business group backs gov’t review of tuition-free college education  | Inquirer Business

Business group backs gov’t review of tuition-free college education 

/ 10:53 PM September 07, 2023

MANILA  -The industry-led Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) is backing the move to review the tuition-free college education in state-owned universities in the country, saying this should help identify any flaws in the system.

PBEd executive director Justine B. Raagas on Wednesday said a review is necessary to ensure that the goals of this government education program are being met.

“Like any implementation, any program, any scholarship or any intervention, reviews have to be done to make sure that they address the actual problem and they reach its targets,” Raagas told reporters on the sidelines of a forum they organized with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the Sofitel Manila Hotel.


“By saying it is wasteful and inefficient, we really have to go back to the question — what makes it inefficient, what makes it wasteful,” she said, referencing an earlier statement by the finance secretary describing it as such.


To recall, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno had recently characterized the current system of providing free tuition in state universities and colleges as “unwieldy, inefficient, and wasteful,” citing that this is evident with the rising dropout rate.

READ: Screening test proposed for free tuition in SUCs

Despite their support for a review, the PBEd official highlighted that any change or revision in this education system should also take into account current trends in the labor market.

“So, for example, if there is a move to, say, limit the number of scholarships, it also has to be aligned with demand. Meaning, if we were to rationalize how many people would get free tuition, it has to be aligned on what the demands are,” she said.

“Of course, a review is very welcome but the review also has to be anchored on the intent that we want people to have equitable access to education across multiple pathways, access to education and training that is of high quality, and responsive to the needs of the workplace,” Raagas added.

The PBED official highlighted that admission processes in state universities and colleges should also take into account more than the aptitude of applicants but also their capacity to pay.

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TAGS: scholarships, state universities

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