Imee raises alarm over possible diploma mills in distance learning

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Senator Imee Marcos expressed concern over schools possibly becoming online diploma mills when distance learning is implemented. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — Senator Imee Marcos expressed concern over schools possibly becoming online diploma mills when distance learning is implemented.

In a virtual senate hearing, Marcos urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation to ensure quality of education.

In particular, she said there should be closer monitoring of state universities and colleges (SUCs) with low student population.

“Very convenient excuse na bigay na lang ng bigay ng diploma, automatic ang promotion, 'di naman natin alam kung ano talaga ang tinapos ng bata dahil hindi nakakapag-monitor ang CHED,” Marcos explained.

[Translation: It's a very convenient excuse to just give diplomas, with automatic promotions, even without knowing what a student has completed because there's really no monitoring by CHED.]

Marcos previously faced controversy over her own education background after reports showed that UP refuted the senator's claim that she was one of their alumni. Princeton University also accused Marcos of falsely claiming she graduated from the prestigious institution.

The senator also asked CHED to make sure education materials that will be used for distance learning are at par with educational standards.

Marcos said the University of the Philippines should share more of its materials to smaller SUCs.

May salita kasi dito sa probinsya na ang damot damot daw ng UP," Marcos said. "Hirap na hirap ang probinsyanong maka-access ng UP-developed materials.”

[Translation: There's word here in the province that UP is stingy. Those from provinces have difficulty accessing UP-developed materials]

CHED chairman Popoy De Vera assured members of the Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education that tertiary institutions are already collaborating and sharing educational content via its online portal PHL Connect.

“These are very good materials because they have been vetted by universities that have a long history already of offering open distance learning,” De Vera said.

The CHED launched PHL Connect in June to help ease flexible or blended learning in college institutions.