CHED to close down seven law schools

by Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 24 2009 01:36 AM | Updated as of Sep 24 2009 09:56 AM

MANILA - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is shutting down seven law schools which failed to produce even a single Bar passer among its graduates in the last 10 years.

These are the law schools of East Central Colleges, Eastern Samar State University, Polytechnic College of La Union, Samar College, Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Southern Bicol College, and Abra Valley College.

The zero Bar passing rate of these schools was discovered after CHED evaluated the examination performance of law graduates from private higher education institutions (HEIs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) from 1999 to 2009.

“We will be forced to close down the law schools which fail to comply with CHED standards,” CHED chairman Emmanuel Angeles said.

“We have to act now in order to put our education system in order and improve the competencies of our graduates and professionals so that we can compete in the global arena, starting with how we produce our law graduates,” he added.

CHED initially short-listed 11 law schools but four HEIs in the list voluntarily phased out their law programs. These are Virgen De Los Remedios College, International Harvardian University, Manuel A. Roxas Educational Institution, and Zamboanga A.E. Colleges.

Angeles said that CHED would also evaluate the performance of HEI and SUC graduates in other licensure examinations.

On the upside of the assessment, CHED said that for the past 10 years, the law program of Ateneo de Manila University has the highest Bar passing rate in the country at an “impressive” 91.24 percent. This is followed by San Beda College with 88.4 percent, and the University of the Philippines with 82.85 percent.

Fourth in the ranking is Far Eastern University-De La Salle University (Juris Doctor MBA) with a bar passing rate of 77.42 percent, followed by Ateneo de Davao University, 75.92 percent; University of San Carlos, 68.2 percent; University of Santo Tomas, 67.64 percent; University of Cebu, 52.81 percent; University of Perpetual Help-Rizal, 50.81 percent; and Arellano University, 49.3 percent.

Angeles said the top performing schools should serve as models for producing successful first-time takers of the Bar.