The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) commenced its 27th Founding Anniversary and the country’s First National Higher Education Day with the theme PADYAK! Moving Forward, Claiming Victory for Philippine Higher Education (Pamantasan: Pandayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran). Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) and Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU) addressed Adult Learning, Learning at Any Age, and Continuing Education in a virtual interview featuring CHED’s Chairman, Dr. J. Prospero De Vera III and one of the country’s celebrated artists, an award-winning actress, and Southville homegrown student, Ms. Jodi Sta. Maria. “This year’s celebration commemorates a significant milestone for CHED which has accomplished a number of groundbreaking undertakings amidst the challenging circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” stated in an article posted on CHED’s website.
In the interview, Chairman De Vera III cited CHED’s recent initiatives in the development of higher education for Filipinos such as expanding access to colleges and universities in reference to Republic Act 10931 – AN ACT PROMOTING UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO QUALITY TERTIARY EDUCATION BY PROVIDING FREE TUITION AND OTHER SCHOOL FEES IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES. This was supported by Jodi Sta Maria as she highlighted, “I’m glad how CHED is really putting emphasis on lifelong learning as I myself is a product of that; it’s education being true to its purpose that no one gets left behind. Every student, no matter the age, must receive an optimal learning experience and quality education.” The lengthy and multifaceted history of adult learning around the world has CHED determined to continuously push the boundaries to capacitate students to enter and complete tertiary
education. The chairman expressed his support to colleges and universities in their efforts to level up alongside neighboring countries which are at par with the international standards for higher education. “We (Philippines) are the only developing country in the whole world doing this (global approach to higher education). Just like Southville who has gone into internationalization, we are encouraging other universities and colleges to develop linkages abroad,” Chairman De Vera III concurred.
Adult Learning as part of Continuing / Lifelong Education is not immune to the impact of the pandemic. Yet Chairman De Vera III affirmed an equal approach to handling programs that have always been in-demand before and during the crisis and programs that are greatly struck by COVID-19 such as the tourism and hospitality industry. The fields Information Technology, Health/Allied Services, and Marketing these are the programs that are flourishing amidst the pandemic, while these other programs have struggled to adapt, yet CHED sees this to be an opportunity as much as it is a challenge. Yet again, the chairman stated, “Learning has continued in higher education despite the pandemic. We never stopped.” It is students like Jodi, whose persistence and diligence towards completing their education, even amidst a global crisis, which serves as living proof of the fruits of CHED’s efforts. This phenomenal generation of students, particularly adult learners, have adapted with lightning speed to changing needs and by embracing technology. As a homegrown student of Southville who has gone through variations of online classes, the actress and aspiring doctor commended her alma-mater’s mastery of digital education and its core values, the 5C’s – Competence, Character, Collaboration, Commitment to Achieve, and Creativity which greatly contributed to her academic disposition.
With more and more Filipinos embracing adult learning, learning at any age, and lifelong education, CHED has stayed committed to its promise in supporting working professionals, student-executives, and adults in general in their pursuit of academic excellence and reforming the country’s higher education system since its establishment in 1994. Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU), the pioneer in Transnational Education in the Philippines and Southville International School and Colleges (SISC), which was granted AUTONOMOUS Status in 2019, with only 16 years of operations at that time, shares an equal vision with CHED towards the undeterred progress of the Philippine higher education system, particularly numerous milestones achieved especially over the impact of the pandemic such as providing scholarship to faculty to advance their degrees and grants to universities to improve facilities.
On behalf of our board of trustees led by our Chairman, Dr. Peter Laurel and our Chief Executive Mentor, Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Dr. Melva Diamante, SISFU President, and all the officers and staff of both Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) and Southville International School affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU), we are honored that you have graced us with your precious time and allowed us to host this meaningful interview to celebrate CHED’s First National Higher Education Day and 27th Founding Anniversary with the theme: PADYAK! Moving Forward, Claiming Victory for Philippine Higher Education (Pamantasan: Pandayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran). Southville has always been CHED’s strong supporter in improving the level of quality education in the country particularly in the higher education sector. As such, our Southville College division, has qualified for the Autonomous Status in 2019, being the youngest HEI in the country, and we thank you for the extension for another two years through CHED CMO #7.
Dr. Jocelyn P. Tizon
Southville International School and Colleges (SISC)
Congratulations to CHED on its 27th Founding Anniversary and 1st National Higher Education Day. Thank you for choosing Southville to host this interview with Chair De Vera III and Ms. Jodi Sta. Maria. We are honored to be a part of this celebration and share our experience nationwide. We thank CHED for its commitment to adult education and its recognition of the critical importance of lifelong learning and upskilling in the workplace, which is changing at an unprecedented pace. SISFU is proud to be at the forefront, embracing Continuous Professional Development and Adult Education alongside Internationalization through Transnational Education with our international partners Pearson, UK and De Montfort University, UK. Here is to many more years of partnership, leadership, and success in cultivating and guiding the development of the Higher Education landscape in the Philippines. Congratulations CHED!
Dr. Melva M. Diamante
Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU)