Too many people feel that they should go to college. That need not be... What???

I was just watching The Rundown, a news and public affairs show on ANC hosted by Ces Orena Drilon where they were interviewing a CHED official.
Among the many valid points she has raised, including the possibility of actually closing down incompetent schools (eh bakit marami pa ring ganung schools na bukas?), a couple of her statements resonated into the deep night –

“Too many people feel that they should go to college. That need not be. College is not for everyone”

Ces Drilon back’s it up by saying, “I’m so glad I’m hearing this from you!”

It was horrifying at first to hear this from the highest authority on education in the land but when you actually think about it, there is a bitter but undeniable truth to it.

Our students are facing outrageously rising costs of college education which are not really justified by the quality that many institutions claim. For those who make it through the four year struggle, review centers swoop in to drain what remaining coins remain in their pockets. And just when the hopeful graduate thinks it is now time to start realizing “the dream”, what he realizes is that there are no available jobs for the course or major he so painfully endured and spent for in the last 4-5 years. This is while companies complain of being unable to find the right applicants.

There is clearly a mismatch of jobs available in the market and the courses offered in the schools.

With its big universities, colleges and numerous institutions, Urdaneta has had its share of issues and even scandals that focus on the quality of education available here. In addition, we Filipinos have a long standing obsession with college diplomas, so much so that it is not uncommon for families to laminate them and post them outside their homes and even dedicate entire walls to them.  

Is this CHED official actually right? Is it time to stop fixating on the diploma and start focusing on what actually counts – getting the right skillsets for the right job to become a more productive citizen. Has TESDA been right all along?

This is an original publication