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CHEd drafts new rules on review centers; Villar calls for their regulation by PRC

CHEd drafts new rules on review centers; Villar calls for their regulation by PRC


Senate President Manny Villar yesterday called for the regulation of review centers by putting them under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Villar filed Senate Bill 2371 to make the licensing, regulation and supervision of review centers under the PRC in an effort to curb test anomalies.

This move was spurred by a recent controversy on the nursing board exam where test leakage was traced to a review center.

"The bill seeks to grant additional powers to the PRC. It could minimize, if not stop, alleged irregularities being perpetrated by some review centers and will limit the number of review centers which shall meet the requirements prescribed by the PRC," he added.

During Senate probes it was learned that some of these review centers have actively sought to increase enrollment by ensuring a high passing rate. This includes offering leaked exam questions.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has already released the draft of new policies, guidelines, and implementing rules and regulations to govern the establishment, operation and accreditation of review centers in the country

"No review center shall be established without the expressed written favorable endorsement of CHEd after conducting evaluation and assessment."

The CHEd memorandum order dated August 29, 2006 is yet to be signed by CHEd Chairman Carlito Puno.

Furthermore, it said that "no duly established review center shall be allowed to offer review courses without the expressed written approval of the CHEd through the issuance of a permit to offer review courses. Thus, it shall be prohibited and a violation of this Order for any entity to make advertisements or announcements referring to the operation of review centers or review courses when no permit has been given or when such application for permit is still pending with the CHEd."

Meanwhile, an Executive Order has also been drafted to be signed by President Arroyo mandating CHEd to regulate the establishment and operation of review centers and similar entities, providing for the implementing mechanisms.

The order mandates that CHEd, in consultation with other concerned government agencies and stakeholders, shall "formulate a framework for the regulation of review centers, including but not limited to the development and institutionalization of policies, standards, guidelines for the establishment, operation and accreditation of these review centers."

The CHEd shall also monitor the adequacy, transparency and propriety of their operations, the order added apart from having the right "to revoke or cancel the permit to operate review courses or close the review center for valid cause pursuant to existing laws, rules, policies and regulation after due process."

As business entities, review centers for nurses are currently supervised by the Department of Trade and Industry while CHEd administers affairs related to colleges and universities.

Puno said that CHEd is mulling over including a review course in the nursing curriculum apart from the plan. The agency might also direct nursing schools to conduct their own reviews, he added.

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