De Vera raises concerns over online entrance exams for colleges, universities

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Prospero de Vera III raised concerns over the conduct of online entrance examinations for colleges and universities during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Kailangan baguhin mo ang disenyo ng exam kapag gagawin mong online. So, iyan iyong medyo problematic area sa ngayon pagdating ng entrance exam para sa Academic Year 2021-2022," De Vera said in an interview with DZMM on Monday, August 17. 

(You have to change the design if you're going to administer it online. That's the problematic area for now when it comes to entrance exams for Academic Year 2021-2021.)

De Vera said what's difficult with online examinations is you don't know if the students are the ones answering the questionnaires or not. 

"Tapos na ang pagpili ng mga qualified para ngayong school year. Ang pinaghahandaan nila ay kung paano ang gagawin sa susunod na school year," De Vera said. (READ: Several state colleges to waive entrance exams during pandemic)

(Qualified students have already been chosen for this school year. Most schools are now preparing for how they are going to administer the entrance examinations for the next school year.)

Citing the case of the University of the Philippines (UP), De Vera said the country's premier university has yet to administer its entrance examination for prospective students for the next school year due to the pandemic. 

"Ang nagkaka-problema ngayon ang UP, sa UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test) kasi hindi nakadisenyo ang UPCAT na online. Dapat 'yan ibibigay ngayong 3rd quarter of the year para sa susunod na school year pero hindi pa nagagawa o hindi pa ready i-adminsiter ang online UPCAT kasi madami ang mage-exam – lagpas isang daang libo," De Vera said.

(UP is facing a problem on administering UPCAT because it is not designed for online. It is supposed to be administered this 3rd quarter of the year, for admission next school year, but it has not been done yet or the university is not yet ready to administer online UPCAT because many are expected to take the exam – more than 100,000.)

UPCAT is one of the most anticipated college entrance examinations in the country. For academic year 2020-2021 alone, more than 100,000 examinees took the UPCAT, according to the university.

Meanwhile, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) announced on Friday, August 14, that it will not administer the UST Entrance Test (USTET) for the academic year 2020-2021 "in consideration of the quarantine restrictions that are currently in effect in the country."

"Instead, admission to UST for the AY 2021-2022 shall be through the University of Santo Tomas Admission Rating (USTAR). The USTAR is a score that will be computed from a number of parameters derived largely from the academic performance and record of the applicant," UST said in a Facebook post.

UST said the guidelines for admission to the university will be made available on its Office for Admissions website.

As of Monday, the Philippines recorded 164,474 coronavirus cases, including 2,681 deaths and 112,759 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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