THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is urging incoming college freshmen students to enroll in the so-called priority courses to increase the number of graduates in areas that are undersubscribed but are needed for “national development.”
“We should push for that because there are too many students who go into the very popular courses, so we would like more to go to agriculture, science and technology, and even the arts,” CHED Chair Patricia Licuana told The Manila Times at the sidelines of signing of renewed memorandum of agreement between CHED and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF) for CHED-PAEF Fulbright scholarships program in Makati City on Friday.
Licuanan explained that under the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) Law, scholars are required to take up priority courses.
“What we hope, you know, with this UniFAST Law that our scholarship will be directed towards areas which the country really needs. If you get the scholarship, you should go to priority courses,” she added.
The CHED chair also said that even non-scholar students are also encouraged to enroll in priority courses.
“We encourage them also to take on these courses. Part of it is mentoring and information counseling. There should be more of that in the schools,” Licuanan noted.
“We have a program with DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment], so it’s not just giving grants but it is informing them about what types of courses will get them jobs in the future. We are trying very hard to support priority courses,” she added.
Under CHED Memorandum Order 1, Series of 2014, some courses will be made a priority within the next five years where qualified beneficiaries of the CHED Student Financial Assistance Programs (Stufap) shall be directed to enroll in.
The CHED priority courses are information technology, agriculture, teacher education, science and math, engineering, health sciences, business administration, architecture, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, maritime and communication. NEIL A. ALCOBER