MANILA, Philippines --- A total of 83 schools, colleges, and universities will no longer be allowed to offer nursing programs starting June, 2013, after they were ordered closed for failure to comply with the standards set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), officials said yesterday.
CHEd National Capital Region (NCR) Director Catherine Castañeda told Manila Bulletin that the non-compliant schools have already been advised by the Commission to voluntarily "phase out" the Nursing programs that they offer for not meeting the standards set by CHED.
"The schools already know since the closure orders have been given to them already. This means that starting June this year, they can no longer offer the program and they cannot accept new enrollees," Castañeda explained.
She said "more than half" of the non-compliant schools expressed their intention to voluntarily "phase out" their nursing courses or programs. "In fairness sa kanila, nag-volunteer na sila to close their programs kasi lugi na and also hindi maganda ang performance sa board exams," she said. "So instead of being publicized for offering substandard program, they opted to voluntarily close this specific program so the other programs that they offer would not be affected," she added.
CHEd said that in NCR alone, a total of seven schools have "voluntarily phased out" their nursing programs. Among the reasons cited by these schools in voluntarily phasing out their programs are "poor enrollment" and "they can no longer support the operations" of the program.
Castañeda said technical panels took time "to carefully review the records of all schools offering nursing programs." As per CHED, nursing programs are considered "substandard" if less than 30 percent of their graduates have "passed the licensure exams in the last three years or if they lack competent faculty and facilities such as training hospital, laboratories, and libraries."
She added that "substandard" nursing schools that were ordered to close down their programs are usually given the chance to voluntarily phase out their programs by not accepting new students next school year. "They would have to tell their students to transfer to other accredited nursing schools or they can gradually phase out the program, meaning, hindi na sila tatanggap ng bagong first year students at patatapusin na lang yung mga remaining students sa ibang year level," Castañeda stressed.
Castañeda clarified that only the nursing courses or programs in these schools, colleges, and universities are "ordered phased out and not the entire school." The closing of nursing program ordered by the CHEd Commission en banc would be effective starting this school year, 2013-2014.
Despite the closure orders, Castañeda said that there are some schools who applied for a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the court. Incoming students who plan to pursue nursing are advised by the CHEd to check if the schools that they intend to go to are accredited since there might be schools that will defy the CHEd's order in court and will continue to teach and accept students despite being having their nursing programs classified as "substandard."