acalcala ched

Dr. Angel C. Alcala, former chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), erstwhile Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and now Professor Emeritus of Silliman University, served as guest speaker during the 2013 VSU Honors and Awards Convocation in the afternoon of March 5 at the VSU Gymnatorium.


The guest speaker was so amazed of VSU "Because you have a university that has practically all the ecosystems of our country—from forest ecosystem to the marine ecosystem—and in-between, you have beautiful scenery of the campus."

"I have a prediction that someday, this University will turn out to be a great university under the leadership of a dynamic President like Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo," Dr. Alcala averred.

He congratulated this year's honorees and awardees who excelled academically and in co-curricular activities. The speaker reiterated that the awards bestowed by the Visayas State University on the students are something to be proud of "for VSU is no ordinary university in the Philippines." VSU has been recognized and adjudged by AACCUP as one of the only two institutions among the more than 100 state universities and colleges in the country with institutional accreditation.

Alcala added that this recognition speaks of the high academic quality of VSU. VSU is recognized as one of the teaching and research institutions in the country that actively contributed to the current knowledge in the fields of agriculture and related sciences. It also disseminates knowledge to the rest of the world through the medium of publications and by means of relationships and cooperation with other known institutions outside the country.

The speaker encouraged the honor students to uphold the reputation of VSU since they are part of this outstanding university system and that they can use their individual awards as stepping stones to the opportunities that await them outside the walls of the campus.

The former CHED Chairman also commented on the educational system of the government specifically in the K to 12 program implementation. Dr. Alcala mentioned that Philippine education is simply not doing well and it lags behind other Asian countries. He said that many of us would not really agree with this because we know that there are qualified students in our midst that do extremely well in their professions.

Dr. Alcala enumerated some of the reasons why this is so, such as: our culture seems to be somehow incompatible, to a certain extent, to the educational standards adopted by many countries; text book writing of the Department of Education which was done by incompetent writers and had to be discarded; the problems in governance caused by the interference of some politicians in the selection of college and university presidents; and the inclusion of political allies in the boards of trustees of colleges and universities.

He bravely said that these things rarely happen or do not happen in the developed countries where the academicians are given the responsibility of running the academic programs of their university systems.

He challenged the students being part of the university system to think of how they can assist to improve the system wherever they found themselves in the world of work.