Notes on the CEAP Proposal for an Amendment by Substitution of CMO 46. s. 2012 by the proposed CMO Policy Standard on Quality Assurance (QA), now HB 3393 filed by Rep. Roman Romulo, Chair, House Committee on Higher Education
Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. and Atty. Faye Risonar-Bello
Background. As a result of the criticism of CMO 46 s. 2012 (CMO 46) by PAASCU and CEAP, and the subsequent advisories to members of PAASCU and CEAP not to comply with CMO 46 until objections had been met, discrete dialogues were held between PAASCU/CEAP, on the one hand, and. CHED Com. Cynthia Bautista, Chair of the Committee on QA, on the other. She agreed that “re-languaging” of CMO 46 s. 2012 was necessary. In helping formulate suggestions for the re-languaging, instead of piecemeal reformulations of the objectionable provisions, it became easier to draft a new CMO. This was submitted formally by Br. Narcisso Erguiza, FSC, President of the CEAP to Com. Bautista as the basis of amendment by CHED enbanc of CMO 46 by substitution. Mutatis mutandi, as of Nov. 19, 2012, this draft CMO is now filed as HB 3393 by Rep. Roman Romulo, Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, as ”An Act Ensuring Quality in All Higher Education Institutions Through a Quality Assurance System.” We endorse Congressman Romulo’s action to provide Quality Assurance for Higher Education a Framework in law, as is the case in many other countries today.
1. Title. Original title changed. We removed “outcomes-based” and “typology based.” The former is confusing and outmoded, the latter is unnecessary.
2. The introductory paragraphs speak of a “desire to simplify and streamline the provisions of CMO 46 s. 2012” considered by many as lugubrious, confusing, too academic, unhappy.
3. Article 1 provides the Declaration of Policy (right to education, system of education, supervision of education, complimentary roles of public and private educational institutions. The State gears SUCs and LCUs towards national, regional and local development plans, respects academic freedom), the Legal Basis (RA 7722) and the Coverage (applies to SUC, LCUs, option of private schools to join based on same rules). Academic Freedom explicitly reiterated.
Note a.: the State directs the SUCs and LCUs, and in respect of academic freedom works with the private HEIs. Issue of “unfunded mandates.”
Note b.: “Academic Freedom” in jurisprudence includes whom to teach, who may teach, what to teach, how to teach.
Note c.: CMO 46 violates academic freedom. It “mandates Philippine HEIs to contribute to building a quality nation.” CHED has no power to “mandate” this. CMO 46 leaves “quality nation” undefined. As a foundational statement of a QA system applying to all HEIs it is profoundly dangerous.
4. Article II. Defines Terms. Puts order in the discourse of QA. Accepts that there is a contemporary discussion with which our terminology should harmonize. E.g. key definitions: Quality (“discrete integration” of four factors). Outcomes. Student Learning Outcomes. Quality Assurance. Internal Quality Assurance. External Quality Assurance. Accreditation.
Note a. There is no universally agreed upon definition of “quality.” Art. II 6 m stipulates a definition. It is the discreet integration of four dimensions: minimum standards, the drive to excellence, outcomes determined by the HEI’s vision and mission, and stakeholder acceptability.
Note b.: CMO 46 Sec. 6 defines Quality as: “fitness for purpose,” as “exceptional,” as “developing a culture of quality.” This is inadequate. Its use of “developing a culture of quality” to define quality is circular. It misses minimum standards. It misses the market/stakeholders.
Note c.: While Student Learning Outcomes are essential for a QA system that respects minimum standards and promotes excellence, it is inappropriate to call the QA System “Outcomes-Based Quality Assurance.” QA is not only based on Student Learning Outcomes, but also on Fitness for Purpose and Market/Stakeholder Satisfaction. Therefore, it is inappropriate to call even a QA system which values student learner outcomes “outcomes based.” It is also inappropriate to do so because in the current discourse outcomes-based QA systems are “fitness for purpose systems” which look at outcomes as indicators of the institution’s success in fulfilling its vision and mission. Here “outcomes” include student learner outcomes, but they are not confined by them.
5. Article III. The QA system or framework includes two aspects: internal quality assurance, external quality assurance. The external Quality Agency. CHED is a “coordinating body” of external quality agencies.
Note a.: Because government has a stake in the quality of HEIs, especially state-funded HEIs, it is inappropriate that government function as an external quality agency, as it offers to do so in CMO 46. This is discouraged in the international arena.
6. Article IV. Evaluation and Monitoring of Programs (Inputs and learning outcomes) and Institutions (evaluation of the quality system of the HEI). However, Section 10. Exemption of accredited schools from IQUAME through EO 705 and 705a s. 2008 exempts them from ISA, based on IQUAME.
7. Article V. HEI Classification. Sec. 13: Autonomous, Deregulated. Regulated.
8. Article VI. Procedure. Appeals. Commencement of Quality classifications.
9. Article VII. Benefits.
10. Article VIII. Transitory Provisions.
11. Article IX. Repealing Clause.
12. Article X. Effectivitty
13. IRRs have been drafted to complement this.