ChEd Chairman Prospero De Vera asks state universities and colleges in the country to offer online classes as a way to encourage more students to enroll.

CATBALOGAN CITY – Commission on Higher Education (ChED) Secretary Prospero “Popoy” de Vera, III urged public higher learning institutions in the country to adopt a distance method of education to increase more enrollment of students in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

De Vera made his remark during a press conference as he visited the Samar State University, this city, last Thursday (Feb.1).

“We have to invest in technology. We have to have technology mediate in learning para hindi kailangang sa classroom lang lagi natututo ang mga bata,” he said.

The ChED official said that several SUCs in the country are already offering distance education like the University of the Philippines Open University wherein students no longer need to attend regular classes in a classroom setting but only have to access their lessons online.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mode of teaching and learning was shifted to modular and online by the education department to ensure continuity amidst the threat of the pandemic.

For students to fully understand online lessons, De Vera suggested that lectures should be accessible online and remotely for students to access the materials anytime if ever they cannot immediately understand them.

Offering a distance education will not only help in increasing the number of enrollees among SUCs but will also help in addressing the problem of lack of facilities which some schools experience when in-campus learning resumes after the pandemic, the ChEd official added.

During the pandemic, SUCs experienced an increase of enrollment after they implemented flexible learning which became a problem after the resumption of face-to-face classes as it revealed the need for additional facilities due to enrollment increase.

Under the 2024 General Appropriations Act, the CHED is instructed to look into the absorptive capacity in the enrollment of SUCs.

“The commission will seriously evaluate how you accept students, and what are the parameters. How will you ensure that they are in a learning environment because by law we are supposed to rationalize it, nakalagay na sa GAA,” De Vera emphasized.

De Vera said that he will be issuing a memorandum to all SUC presidents to talk with top officials at the regional office and look at their enrollment pattern.

The CHED official was in Catbalogan City for a series of activities including the ‘Padyak’ caravan.

His visit was highlighted with the Padyak at Samar, a biking journey from SSU main campus to Jiabong, Samar joined by biking groups in the province, and personnel from the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.