MALAYBALAY CITY (31 August 2020) Commission on Higher Education Chair J. Prospero “Popoy” E. de Vera III told graduates of Bukidnon State University this year to pay it forward and give back.
De Vera, commencement speaker of BukSU’s Virtual 86th Commencement Exercises, aired and webcasted today via DXBU 104.5FM and the BukSU official website and social media account, said the graduates are the second batch of beneficiaries of the government’s free tertiary education program.
“You are the real Iskolars ng Bayan,” he added.
The government enacted the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education in 2017. The law provided for free tuition and other school fees in state universities and colleges, local universities and colleges and state-run technical-vocational institutions and other benefits.
In academic year 2018 to 2019, the government allocated around P16 billion for the Free Tertiary Education Program, according to PNA.gov.ph.
Chair De Vera said the investment given by the country to the scholars was given without any condition. He cited that no grade requirement was imposed as long as the scholars go to school and study.
But he noted that after graduation, they should pay it forward by helping their families, giving back to the communities, and by becoming responsible citizens of the country.
“Your long journey has been finished; you now commence your next chapter of your professional life. I ask you, please do not let the country down,” he said in his 16-minute recorded speech, citing the need to support the President’s programs and the government.
Chair de Vera said President Rodrigo Duterte promised free tertiary education in his campaign and delivered it with RA 10931.
The CHED Chair said the university’s choice of commencement theme is very timely. He said the students are really experiencing difficulties in adjusting to the new normal in higher education.
But he said he is assured that the excellent education the students are getting from BukSU has more than adequately equipped the graduates with necessary ethical standards and competence to help them “carve their own paths to success and prosperity in your community”.
Chair De Vera said the 1,197 graduates of BukSU this year are among close to 3 million students in the country who are facing the challenge of the pandemic.
“They all look forward to finishing their studies even with the pandemic,” he added.
He assured that CHED is doing its best to continuously improve the Philippine Higher Education sector. He also praised top public and private universities in the country for their commitment to help train the other government and private universities shift to flexible learning.
Chair De Vera said he is happy the Bayanihan spirit is alive when top universities offered to help those with less experience in flexible learning by providing training program for the faculty members to redesign syllabus and learning methodologies and the used of appropriate materials for teachers.
He said they saw the commitment of the HEIs to help CHED even without their prodding.
He said such commitment is much needed as the challenges are broad and difficult for all universities. Yet they responded immediately and offered to train other universities free of charge,” he added.
“The bottom line for me is, quarantine or not, learning must continue. It is therefore everybody’s responsibility to ensure that flexible learning is delivered during and after this crisis,” he added.
BukSU also webcasted the graduation rites of the lower levels. The 62nd Kindergarten Moving Up Ceremony was shown on July 18, 2020. The 86th Graduation Ceremony of the Elementary Laboratory School was shown on June 13, 2020. The 5th Junior High School Completion Ceremony and 3rd Senior High School Graduation Rites were shown on June 20, 2020, in the morning and in the afternoon, respectively.
There are a total of 1,197 graduates of BukSU this year from 20 undergraduate degree programs and the master’s and doctorate programs.
The College of Arts and Sciences has 204, College of Business, 478; College of Education, 237; College of Nursing, 17; College of Social Development and Technology,234; and College of Law, 27 graduates (OP-Information and Publication Service).