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Editorial: The practicality of board exams

Editorial: The practicality of board exams

THERE are perhaps a hundred and one proposals being made by the country's government officials, academicians and scholars in order to improve the dismal state of education in this part of Asia and the world.

Aside from the proposal to move the school season from June to September to avoid the rainy season there is now this idea from the Commission on Higher Education to institute board exams for every four-year course in college.

On the surface it sounds like a good concept since it would further stamp efforts to professionalize the various fields of skill and job discipline now available in the market today. It is a job market after all, where demand for quality services ever runs high and commands high prices.

While noble there are many flaws not the least of which is its affordability; can parents or the national government for that matter afford to pay for the costs of the board examinations required for each course?

For that matter does every course need a board exam? One example is secretarial courses, which can be learned in a number of years.

Blue-collar courses like mechanics and repairs may not need board examinations if hands-on training is all that's required.

What about other so-called white-collar jobs like commerce, mass media or information and computer technology? Mass communications is said to be need of further upgrades owing to the number of foul-mouthed broadcasters and poorly skilled writers.

Notwithstanding the number of examinations afforded by the Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas or KBP and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI). There is a (somewhat) functional, though hardly present Ombudsman for print though its effectivity as arbiter has yet to be put to the ultimate test.

So what about these courses, do they really need board examinations? Perhaps and perhaps not.

The sensible thing to do is, if it hasn't been done already, to conduct a study that would prove and disprove whether or not board examinations are beneficial to all college courses, whether two year or four year.

One small argument against board examinations, however, is the question of reducing the incidence of cheating in board exams as experienced in nursing, accounting and engineering courses.

Heck if they can cheat during the National College Entrance Examinations (NCEE) or whatever it is they call it nowadays, what's to stop them from cheating in board examinations?

And we're not even talking about the status of civil service entrance examinations. Would they still be needed in the event board examinations are required for college courses?

These and many other questions would have to be answered thoroughly and adequately by the powers that be at the CHED. And they better make sure the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages in this one.


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