Friday, 18 May 2007

A Bad Move

Last March, the Electronics and Communications Engineering Department of the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila (TIP) distributed an agreement letter to the graduating ECE students. If signed, a student agrees not to have his Transcript of Records (TOR) – a requirement for the board examinations – released lest he passes the department’s competitive examinations. This only goes to show the lengths the department would go to in order to reach or surpass the licensure examination’s national passing percentage.

Misleading agreement

The first paragraph of the agreement states, “The Electronics and Communications Engineering Department of the Technological Institute of the Philippines – Manila commits itself to produce high caliber graduates… the department also strives to be CHED’s center for excellence… most importantly, the department is committed to prepare its graduates for the profession they are entitled to belong.”

It is evident in the first paragraph that the department is presenting itself as wanting nothing but the best for its graduates, even borrowing a line from TIP’s Vision to ensure that the student signs the agreement.

The second paragraph states that in order to be included in the roster of professionals in his specialized field, a graduate must first pass a licensure examination prepared by the Professional Regulations Commission. The paragraph also stresses that competence is needed in order to pass the examination and that the ECE Department is “doing everything it could to help its students to receive their most deserved license.”

Yet it is a fact that over the past few years, the department had never surpassed the national passing percentage (I’ve yet to confirm if it did surpass the national passing percentage at all) for the ECE licensure examination which is marked at 36%. The November 2006 licensure exam produced a 14% passing rate while the April 2007 exam produced only five passers (reportedly a 10% performance), a dismal decrease from the April 2006 exams in which the department posted a 24% passing rate.

The third paragraph states that a competitive examination would be given by the department on August 18 and 25 and that the graduate would have to average at least 60% in order to pass the test. If not, his TOR will not be released for the mean time.

Furthermore, the fourth paragraph gives the graduate another chance: he will be given another set of exam on September 29. He should at least get a 70% average for his TOR to be released. If he still fails to pass the test, then he will be advised to take the April 2008 licensure exam.

Faulty logic

The agreement borders along the logic that if the graduate cannot pass the department’s competitive exams, what more the PRC licensure exams?

Such a short-term move does not directly answer the problems that are plaguing the department which, aside from poor licensure exam performance, include lack of competitive faculty, inadequate laboratory equipments and apathetic students.

What the department should do is to start screening students worthy of advancing to higher year levels early on. They should coordinate with the Humanities and Social Sciences and Math and Physics Departments regarding it, seeing as the two handles most of the lower year subjects. They could formulate the ways and means to properly screen the first and second-year ECE students.

Come third and fourth year, the task now falls on the department (as well as instructors of other departments teaching ECE students) to instill the necessary skills and knowledge for its students to not only pass the licensure exam, but to land a decent-paying job as well.

All throughout, the ECE Department Student Government and the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines-TIP Manila Student Chapter should hold seminars on technical and non-technical topics, as well as tutorials and hands-on classes. In addition, they should instill critical thinking to their fellow students through discussions regarding timely and relevant issues. They should also be in the forefront of issues concerning the department, fighting for the interest of the students.

See you again next year!

There are students who have already signed the agreement, seemingly naive to its consequences. As long as the department – and the school – remain unable to answer the real problems concerning students, incidents such as this would continue for years to come. The ECE Department seems hell-bent in attaining a commendable licensure exam performance – through whatever means necessary – as the graduates start gearing up for it.


Fjordan Allego said...

nasa kritikal na sitwasyon ngayon ang ECE department. Hindi ganun kalaki ang pumapasok na pera sa institusyon para gugulin sa pagpasok ng mga makabagong kagamitan. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit kinakapos na ang departamento ng mga magagaling na propesor. Kailangan ding patunayan nila na kayang lumaban ng TIP-Manila sa labas kaya ganun na lang ang higpit nila para sa mga magsisipag-kuha ng board exam.

Tama kang dapat magsimula lahat sa lower years, pero siguro sasang-ayon ako sa ganoong patakarang hanggat hindi ka nakakapasa ng exam na gagawin sa TIP ay hindi ka muna kukuha ng board exam, sa gayon malilimitahan ang mangagsisipagkuha ng eksam at kahit papaano'y mahuhulaan na ang resulta ng passing rate. Kontrolado ika nga.

Ang hindi lang maganda sa nabanggit mong letter ay ang pagpapapirma sa mga estudyante na nangangahulugang pagsang-ayong hindi ilalabas ang TOR. Masyado na yatang paghihigpit yun.

pol said...

Yay! My first comment. At long last, my blog is no longer a virgin.

As I've said, the agreement only applies if it is signed by the concerned party. If not, then the department has no right whatsoever to prevent a graduate from securing his transcript of records. In my opinion, the school no longer has any jurisdiction over graduate students.

This seems to be the reason why the ECE Department tried to convince our batch to sign the agreement before we were able to graduate. Notice that the last paragraph of the letter states, "This document is signed and issued and will serve as a binding agreement for any legal matter this may purposely serve." It also seems that the college dean and other higher-ups were not informed about the department distributing the agreement.

I suggested that they start "training" the students as early as possible so as to avoid situations like this. What they did is a short-term solution to a recurring problem. Prevention should be prioritized over cure.

If the department is really desperate to control the number of licensure exam takers, they should include the in-house review and preboard exam (5th year, 2nd sem) in the program curriculum. That way, a student must first pass that subject before he is allowed to graduate.

Also, according to Section 9 of Batas Pambansa 232 or the "Education Act of 1982," a student has "The right to the issuance of official certificates, diplomas, transcript of records, grades, transfer credentials and other similar documents within thirty days from request."

By the way, I've heard reports that the department formed a "special group" of students for the licensure exam. From what I've heard, they're called Pioneer 24 or something like it, and they go to school during Tuesdays and Thursdays to discuss and review topics for the board exam. I think that this contradicts the agreement distributed by the department. Why would they convince almost every graduating ECE student to sign it, and then form a "special group" for the exams? They really must be desperate to resort to such deceptive tactics.

nykole123 said...

hey fjordan allego... same ang dinadanas nio samen(TIP-QC)ECE batch ngaun lumalaban prin kme...ac2ally my meeting kameng gagawin naun with our parents.. ndi ntn mtitibag ang policy nla..policy is policy..nirerespect ntn un pero it unfair na tau ang nagluto ng lahat ng ito at tau ang kawawa...dapt iimplement nla ito sa 2008 curri.. tip manila makipag2lungan kau smen(TIP QC)here's the contact 09204066181 or 09298403507..pls rep

arjel said...

hahaha, im from tip qc, ewan ko kung ganyan nadin ngayon dun, pero nung time namin ganyan na din yung plano ng head namin noon, tama yung mga ginagawa nyo na indi yan payagan, indi basehan yang exam na yan kung papasa ka sa board o hindi, nung time ko madami sa inaasahan nilang papasa ang bumagsak, at kaming di nila iniexpect ay pumasa, siguro kasi nung time ng review nagfocus talaga kami,at yung iba nag overconfident......kaya tama na hindi talaga yan payagan, its everybody's right to have thier TOR after graduation!!!!!!!!

briccs said...

in my experience, hindi lahat ng magaling sa school ay pumapasa sa prc board exams.

another thing is hindi lahat ng ece graduate ay gustong mag board, same with the other courses. halimbawa lang yung mga may work na at may kaya, di na nila gustong mag-abala pa for the licensure.

xan-xan said...

agree with bricss