Mr. Chairperson, honorable judges, my worthy opponents, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon. The surplus of students who have graduated nursing is but one of many end-products of schools accepting enrollees without limits or standards and have consequently become a burden to our economy and society. It seems that despite the knowledge of limited job opportunities, the growing number does not seem to stop. More and more families are suffering from financial woes due to unreturned investment and unemployment. Because our team believes that students deserve equal chances to have better opportunities and academic credibility, we stand resolved: that the government should regulate schools in the number of students enrolled in different programs. But before I go on, I would like to define the terms. Government is defined as the system by which a nation, state or community is governed; particularly referring to the constituted authority of the Republic of the Philippines which is the Commission on Higher Education or CHED. We focus on the word regulate in terms of imposing restrictions, rules and limits. The term student is limited to enrollees of any baccalaureate degree under the quota programs. And since we will be mainly focusing on the restriction of student numbers, we shall define quota programs as programs that are in demand therefore under cut-off requirements and limited slots. Enroll is defined as to be officially listed in the school’s student records after undergoing requirements of the quota system. And finally, school is defined as higher educational institutions in the tertiary level under the CHED.
We, on the affirmative side, believe in quality, not quantity and in being so, develop graduates that possess initiative and passion in their line of work. An ideal quota system places the quota courses through an examination whose purpose is not to determine who is eligible for this school, but to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses through the results. An ideal examination shall include a psychological test that could determine the personality, the EQ and the degrees that are best suited for his abilities. After assessing his high school grades and his entrance exam, the student is guided into choosing the appropriate course for him through pre-enrollment counseling. And finally, during his first year, a series of counseling shall still be implemented to get him familiarized with his course, followed by yearly career updates to get him in constant track with job opportunities in time for his graduation. We believe that this system could change the way our youth develops as contributing members to our society and to our country. Allow me therefore, to discuss the necessity aspect of this system.
There is a need for change. First, the quota system is needed to battle the problem of supply versus demand. According to O’Grady Peyton International, the nursing industry has experienced retrogression and the unemployment rate in the USA. Nurses are now being canceled and abandoned by their respective agencies. And with the recent economic crisis of 2009, the rate of employment in the US has declined. President Obama even expressed concern for the continuous entry of foreign workers and proposed an increase in education budget so that the job opportunities would prioritize their own people. A bill was proposed by the US Congress to limit visas for Register Nurses with an annual limit of 50,000. Fifty thousand. Don’t you think it sounds quite small? With an average of 86,347 nursing graduates per year, it is logical to say that demand does not meet the supply. Furthermore, countries such as India and South Africa, whose nurses are equally skilled and proficient in English, are also being hired abroad. The 50,000 limit is not exclusive for the Philippines only but it is open to competition.
Second, we need the quota system to increase the quality of education in schools. Just recently CHED has issued a warning to close down 152 nursing schools after consistently averaging a passing rate of 30% among its graduates on the licensure examination. Moreover, The Head Alliance for Democracy has stated that from 2004 to 2006, the proportion of nursing graduates who passed the RN exams have decreased from the already low 56% to 42%. So what does this imply? Does the overpopulated nursing school congest their students in their classrooms when CHED requires the teacher ratio of students at 1:25 in laboratories and 1:50 in classrooms? There have been many accounts of violations regarding this and if you actually think about it which student would benefit more from his teacher? One who studies in an over-populated classroom or a student who enjoys more attention from his teacher and peers because of the quota system? You decide.
Lastly, a quota system is needed to foster psychological and social awareness and growth in each student concerned. If you are best suited to a particular degree and have entered into it, chances are, your social and psychological development will maximize to the fullest. You will become a student who does not only rely on the guidance of the teachers but also become someone who possesses the initiative to better himself through other means. Research has shown that students who have undergone psychological testing and have been placed in a suitable degree acquire more intrinsic motivation than students who are just financially motivated or their only option is to choose the degree their parents have opted for them. It has also shown that most students who graduated with a degree that they were forced into and was not suited for them often ended feeling incomplete and yearning for freedom. These types of people usually feel bitterness and resentment at the later part of their lives. What kind of example will they show to their children someday? Are they most likely to give back to society when they are so unfulfilled?
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a great need to maximize the potential of each student here. And it is not only a need but a right. By allowing the quota system to screen students and guide them into their suitable degrees, we will not only be producing competent graduates, but students who have fulfilled the very aim of the constitution, (which is to entitle them in a quality of education that accelerates social progress and promote total human liberation and development.) Art. 2 Sec. 17
I shall now submit myself for interpellation.